FAM to discuss Johor

Source : The Star 

JOHOR BARU: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) will meet soon to discuss Johor’s appeal against the disqualification of their foreign players – Paraguayan striker Ocampos Otelo, Nigerian midfielder Akande Smith and Congolese defender Tumba Laurent. 

This follows a meeting between FAM vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin and Johor FA secretary Wan Nizam Wan Omar in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday. Also present were assistant team manager Mazlan Ali and Johor chief coach Azuan Zain.

“At least we now know that our appeal will be discussed,” said Mazlan yesterday. 

Last week, Johor slammed the FAM for their “tidak-apa” attitude in handling Johor’s appeal after the FAM barred the foreigners from playing for the team in the Premier League competition. 

Johor were particularly unhappy with Raja Ahmad, who is also the competitions committee chairman, for “avoiding” Johor FA officials. 

Johor are playing in the Premier League under the new name Johor Pasir Gudang after the FAM allowed Johor to merge with Pasir Gudang United (PGU). PGU, who won the FAM Cup last season, had earlier withdrawn from the Premier League. The FAM subsequently fined them RM30,000 and banned them for two years. 

Following FAM’s green light to merge, Johor signed 13 players, including the three foreigners, from PGU. Then in an about turn, the FAM ruled that Otelo, Smith and Laurent would have to undergo a one-season “cooling off” period before they can play again in Malaysia. 

Johor are claiming that the FAM had set a precedent when they allowed foreign players from Public Bank and MK Land to play for other teams after the two sides were banned and fined for pulling out of the M-League. 

Johor’s next match is against Selangor club PKNS in Kelana Jaya on Tuesday. With the appeal not likely to be heard this week, Johor will have to field an all-local side again. 

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