Cash-strapped Penang FA suspend all domestic competitions

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Kuala Lumpur goalkeeper Mohd Shahfiz Amri punching the ball away as Penang striker Mohd Azrul Ahmad comes flying in during their Malaysia Cup Group B match at the City Stadium on Thursday. Struggling Penang face Police tonight.

It would not be a big surprise if Penang are unable to put up a team in the Super League competition next season.

It is common knowledge that the FA of Penang (FAP) are in deep financial woes. The players have not been paid their salaries for the past several months.

And the FAP's financial difficulties plumbed new depths yesterday when they had to suspend indefinitely all their domestic league competitions.

It was the first time since its inception in the 1950s that the competitions were halted because of financial reasons and it affected more than 60 club sides. The suspended tournaments were the three main league divisions, the junior league and Under-18 competitions.

The Penang League is one of the most actively participated state-level competitions in the country. And the FAP had to take the drastic measure after being unable to come up with allowances for match officials.

“We are forced to suspend the League temporarily due to insufficient funds to organise the competitions. It can only resume if we are able to resolve our current financial situation,” said FAP secretary Datuk Mohd Junid Noor yesterday.

When the suspension came into effect yesterday, there were three rounds of matches remaining for the 13-team Division One and Two competitions while the 21-team Division Three is at the semi-final stage.

With paltry gate collection from the Super League and Malaysia Cup home matches barely enough to cover stadium expenses, the FAP are caught in a financial crisis after failing to source for extra income.

Despite the setbacks, Mohd Junid gave an assurance that Penang would fulfil their commitment in the ongoing Malaysia Cup.

“Our coffers are almost dry but we are able to pull through in the Malaysia Cup. It is still premature to talk about Penang's participation in the M-League next season. We will discuss it after our current campaign ends,” he said.

Penang finished in 12th place in the 13-team Super League this season and in Malaysia Cup Group B, they are languishing at the bottom of the table with only four points from six matches.

The Panthers play against Police at home today. Their other matches in the group are against Johor FC (July 19, home), Kedah (July 23, away) and Kuala Lumpur (Aug 2, away).

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Cash-strapped Penang FA suspend all domestic competitions Reviewed by admin Ucop on 10:01 PM Rating: 5

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