Team pay heavy price due to FAM

source : The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Poor planning of the Malaysian Super League schedules has resulted in the prestigious Malaysia Cup tournament taking a back seat this season.

There is no doubt most of the teams have been affected by the hectic schedule, which resulted in sub-standard performances and empty stadiums.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) will have to take the rap for holding the Malaysia Cup (June 11-Aug 23) during the Euro 2008 (June 7-30) and the Olympics (Aug 8-24). The two international events will surely take centre stage over the local fare.

The shocking losses in Friday night’s matches proved that defending champions Kedah, Selangor, Terengganu and Pahang (the four semi-finalists of the FA Cup competition) have fallen victim to the tight schedule.

The two FA Cup finalists – Kedah and Selangor – for instance would have played a total of seven matches in 20 days this month.

Treble-chasers Kedah fell 0-1 to Premier League side Kuala Lumpur while Negri Sembilan thrashed 32-time Malaysia Cup winners Selangor 3-0, also at their home ground.

Another major upset was Terengganu going down at home to east coast rivals Kelantan 1-2 while Pahang lost to Perlis 1-2.

Selangor coach Dollah Salleh said that the results were obviously due to fatigue.

“You don’t need an expert to point out the cause for this catastrophe,” said Dollah yesterday.

“The players are not machines and they are exhausted after having played too many matches in a short time and there is nothing we can do to push them anymore. All the four FA Cup semi-finalists lost their matches. What does this tell you?” asked Dollah.

To make matters worst some of the matches were played on weekdays and Selangor had one of their worst ever turnout in years with less than 500 fans in Shah Alam on Friday.

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