Saturday, July 11, 2015

The window of horror


Level Field  

The April transfer window has created a problem for Malaysian football – foreign players and agents who are stranded because of non or late settlement for the termination of contracts.
A case in point is Kuala Lumpur FA, which offloaded two foreign players but has yet to pay them their dues. The agents are also in a dilemma because they are responsible for these players. It is learnt that their fees too have not been paid.
Three of five local players who saw their contracts terminated have taken their case to the Malaysian Professional Players’ Association, who have in turn already contacted KLFA for explaination.
Several other state FAs are in the same boat, and certainly the FA of Malaysia is partly to be blamed for it. Why did it allow these states to sign on new players before settling all issues concerning the ones they let go?
This especially incomprehensible because there is a form – C03-6 (for local players) and C03-6a (for foreign players) – that must be filled by both the employer (state FAs or clubs) and the players concerned to acknowledge that a mutual agreement was reached on the early termination of the contract.
State FA and clubs also have to submit tax payment receipts and payment vouchers for the players concerned for their contracts to be ended.
Then, there is the deposit for foreign players. Why wasn't it used to pay off the players being released?
Were procedures followed?
Obviously, FAM took the matter lightly and gave the state FAs the green light to register the new players. Otherwise, how could such a situation arise?
It is learnt that KLFA offered to pay the players they dropped in instalments but the players refused because they would have problems with their visa, accommodation and so forth.
The agents could bring up the matter with FAM or even Fifa for non-payment of dues but they are in a Catch-22 situation.
“There are not that many teams to work with in M-League," said an agent who declined to be named. “We don't want to burn our bridges. We might have to come back to the same teams with new foreign players or coaches for the next season. Thus, we are forced to be patient and keep appealing to the state FAs to settle our dues.”
The agents also have to contend with coaches and players who muscle into their turf, a problem that will likely be compounded by Fifa having introduced intermediary regulations on April 1. 
One significant change of the Fifa Regulations on Working with Intermediaries is that it will abandon its licensing system, opening the market to anyone who is interested in becoming a player's agent or intermediary.
Fifa has decided that from now on, it is up to the national football associations to regulate the agents. It has preserved the right of associations to go beyond the minimum requirements of the Regulations on Working with Intermediaries. Therefore, there are likely to be many changes in due course.

KLFA horror
KLFA is further in the limelight for the wrong reasons, as they are in trouble with the Sports Commissioner’s Office after an official complaint was lodged with it after the state FA's annual general meeting in September last year.
The affiliates alleged that proper procedures were not adhered to at the AGM. When it came to submitting names for election, there was a lot of jostling at the table as to who should be nominated and who should be elected for certain positions. In the end, those named were elected without contest.
However, several affiliates were alleged to have been from outside Kuala Lumpur with many coming from Selangor and even Malacca.
KLFA held an extraordinary annual meeting last night (Friday) and it is learnt that an officer from the Sports Commissioner’s Office was present to brief the affiliates on where KLFA violated the constitution and election process.
All indications are that KLFA will be requested to hold a fresh election after having ‘cleaned up’ its affiliate list.
All this does not augur well for the state FA, which is already beset with problems, including financial.
Earlier, the secretary named after the election – Ramlan Asklolani – had resigned, as have several other key officials.
KLFA still owes former president and now deputy-president Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz close to RM2 million that he is said to have lent it. This is not mentioning the fact that the state FA was rocked by a match-fixing scandal in 2012.
KL, which started off as minnows when it made its debut in the national league in 1979, emerged as the kingpin in the late 1980s but suffered the dubious honour of being relegated to the third-tier FAM League after finishing second from the bottom of the table in the Premier League. It bounced back after a season, returning to the Premier League this season, but its woes are not over yet.
Sadly, KLFA has no one but itself to blame for its downfall.

So much for professional football and there is no doubt that several other state FAs are in the same predicament.

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