Johor slam FAM for lackadaisical attitude

Source : The Star

JOHOR BARU: Johor are unhappy with the FA of Malaysia's (FAM) “tidak apa” attitude in handling their appeal against the disqualification of their foreign players – Paraguayan striker Ocampos Otelo, Nigerian midfielder Akande Smith and Congolese defender Tumba Laurent. 

Johor, playing under new name Johor Pasir Gudang and eyeing promotion to the Super League, were held to a 1-1 draw by Shahzan Muda in their opening Premier League match at the Larkin Stadium on Friday. 

And they had to make do without their foreigners, a situation which irked the Johor officials, especially assistant team manager Mazlan Ali.

Johor were particularly upset with FAM vice-president and competitions committee chairman Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin who they claimed has been “avoiding” Johor FA officials. 

The three played for Pasir Gudang United (PGU) in the third-tier FAM Cup competition last season. PGU won the FAM Cup after beating Armed Forces 3-0 in the final and earned promotion to the second-tier Premier League. 

However, PGU withdrew from the Premier League because of financial constraints and were subsequently fined RM30,000 and banned for two years by the FAM.  

At the same time, the FAM allowed Johor to merge with PGU and play in the Premier League as Johor Pasir Gudang. 

Johor registered 13 players, including the three foreigners from PGU. 

However, the FAM ruled that Otelo, Smith and Laurent had moved from one team to another and would therefore have to undergo a one-season “cooling off” period before they can play again in Malaysia. 

Johor, however, are of the opinion 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 teams were banned after pulling out from the M-League. 

The FAM have been mum on Johor's appeal. 

“We made every effort to speak to Datuk Raja Ahmad but each time he was either busy or just refused to answer our calls.  

“He should at least have the courtesy to get back to us,” said an upset Mazlan.  

Johor's next match is against Selangor club PKNS in Kelana Jaya on Friday

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