No turn­ing back

New Straits Times - - Sport - DEVINDER SINGH devinder@nst.com.my

FIRM: An­nuar sticks with quit de­ci­sion but will help bail Ke­lan­tan out

FACED with con­stant crit­i­cism af­ter a sea­son which de­liv­ered noth­ing, Tan Sri An­nuar Musa is adamant in quit­ting as pres­i­dent of Ke­lan­tan FA (Kafa) but not with­out first clearing the as­so­ci­a­tion’s debts.

An­nuar also fired a broad­side to his crit­ics, chal­leng­ing them to take over his post if they think they know bet­ter, but vowed not to leave Kafa in a lurch.

Kafa have fallen be­hind in pay­ing salaries to their play­ers while their main spon­sor is in trou­ble with the law and seek­ing to al­ter their fi­nan­cial obli­ga­tions.

This has left Kafa in a pre­car­i­ous fi­nan­cial po­si­tion with the dead­line to post a RM3 mil­lion bond to en­sure their par­tic­i­pa­tion in next sea­son’s Su­per League fast ap­proach­ing.

“There are things which we reached a de­ci­sion on to­day,” said An­nuar, who ten­dered his res­ig­na­tion two weeks ago, af­ter meet­ing with Kafa ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers in Kuala Lumpur yes­ter­day.

“Firstly, my de­ci­sion to step down as pres­i­dent will not change so that some­one more ca­pa­ble can take over and lead Ke­lan­tan foot­ball to greater heights.

“Se­condly, I will en­sure Ke­lan­tan will meet the dead­line to reg­is­ter for the M-League and my com­pa­nies will raise the RM3 mil­lion bond to play in the Su­per League next year.

“Lastly, I will raise RM500,000 to en­sure the play­ers are paid their salaries within five days.”

An­nuar cited the grow­ing fi­nan­cial pres­sures to en­sure Ke­lan­tan re­main com­pet­i­tive in the M-League as the main rea­son for step­ping down.

“When we won the tre­ble (in 2012) a bud­get of RM6 mil­lion to RM7 mil­lion was enough but now you need not just RM3 mil­lion for the bond but also RM2 mil­lion up front to sign four for­eign play­ers and a coach,” said An­nuar.

“We can no longer com­pete against teams with deep pock­ets like Kedah and Se­lan­gor, who get sub­stan­tial help from their state gov­ern­ments.

“So I have de­cided to with­draw though I will still help Ke­lan­tan foot­ball in a pri­vate ca­pac­ity. A lot of peo­ple have com­mented on so­cial me­dia how the team should be run so I’m giv­ing them a chance to come for­ward and take over as pres­i­dent.

“Since they have so many bright ideas, why not come and share it with Kafa and show us the way for­ward.”

Kafa deputy pres­i­dent Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah said the exco, while dis­ap­pointed, agreed to re­spect An­nuar’s de­ci­sion.

“We will hold elec­tions if needed to re­place the en­tire exco,” said Afandi. “If there is any­body who is ca­pa­ble of tak­ing over as pres­i­dent, we are ready to dis­cuss it them.

“For now, our pri­or­ity is to en­sure that Ke­lan­tan meet the M-League reg­is­tra­tion dead­line to en­sure we are there next year. Only then can we start talk­ing about hir­ing a coach and new play­ers.”

Afandi also said a meet­ing will be sched­uled soon with their main spon­sor Vida Beauty Sdn Bhd, who have asked for a change in terms of their spon­sor­ship obli­ga­tions.

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