Sabah set to play night matches

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah may not have to play their Malaysian Super League matches under the scorching sun after all.

Yesterday, Sabah Sports Board General Manager Mahmood Kalong gave an assurance that the repairing and upgrading works of the four floodlights at the Likas Stadium will be completed in time for Sabah’s first match which is slightly more than two weeks away.

He said that the repairing and upgrading works are progressing well since it started on January 17.

“At the moment the repairing and upgrading works are about 65 per cent completed, and I’m confident we will be able to meet the deadline.

“The only thing that worries us is the weather. If it rains or is windy, it is impossible to do the repair work,” said Mahmood, during a briefing with the local media at the Likas Stadium yesterday.

Mahmood also said that once completed the brightness of the floodlights should meet the requirement set by the FA of Malaysia which is 800 lux.

“We are replacing all the bulbs as well as the cables. And once done, the brightness of the floodlights is 1500 lux, which is almost double of the minimum requirement set by the FAM.

Mahmud said they have set February 7 for the FAM to come for inspection.

To a question, Mahmud refused to reveal the cost of the repairing works, but merely said that it involved a substantial amount, which is believed to be over half a million ringgit.

“It’s timely for the 40-metre tall floodlights built in 1990, which is now close to 21 years old, to be repaired or upgraded.

“We changed all the bulbs as well as (some) of the cables. We are using the Phillips bulb, which is the best.

“There are a total of 288 bulbs in all the floodlights with each pole having 72 bulbs. And we found out that a total of 102 were burnt,” said Mahmood.

Sabah will kick off their challenge by playing two consecutive away matches against Terengganu in the opener on Jan 29, followed by a date with Kuala Lumpur on Feb 1 before taking a 10-day break for the Chinese New Year celebration.

When the league resumes, they would play their first home match of the season by taking on Kedah on Feb 12.

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