The Sabah senior football team may take a while before finalising its Malaysia Cup squad as efforts to bring in 2 players from Sarawak specially for this competition failed to materialise.
It was learnt from a reliable source at the Sabah FA here yesterday that the 2 unnamed players who were supposed to join the state team on a loan basis failed to get clearance from their respective FA.
“It is confirmed that the two players from Sarawak would net be playing for Sabah at the Malaysia Cup tournament.:”
“The Sarawak FA refused to release the 2 players citing fear of injuries as their main reason” the source said when contacted.
But unlike the deal with the Sarawak FA, a similar arrangement made earlier with Premier League side Police, proceeded smoothly with few hiccups.
The Sabah FA had planned to bring in 3 players altogether to strengthen the squad’s cup challenge but eventually only one player was able to join the team.
The player from Police, who is currently training with the Sabah squad is Mohd Afif bin Amiruddin.
The 26-year-old lanky player who hails from Kota Bahru, Kelantan arrived earlier last week and is already settling in well with his new team mates.
The 186-cm tall midfielder started his football career at the Bukit Jalil Sports School and was eventually elevated into the national Under-20 squad.
Mohd Afif played for Malaysia at the Asean School Football Championships in 2001 and 2002 and represented the country at the Under-20 Lion City Cup Championship in Singapore.
When met during a training session at the Likas Stadium recently, Afif told reporters that he is excited about heading into the Malaysia Cup challenge with Sabah.
“The is my chance to play in the Malaysia Cup and hopefully I can help Sabah win the tournament. “Despite being a relatively new team, I think Sabah has what it takes to do well in this tournament. With some good effort I think we can even win the Cup” he said.