Melaka United is heading for a deep plunge – thanks to the management’s folly of not keeping their word in paying salary arrears due to the players and officials – during the stipulated period.

The Super League outfit, currently third in the 12-team league, has been docked a precious three points from their total after four matches.

It does not stop at that for Melaka United – coached by former international Zainal Abidin Hassan – as the team could face another six-point deduction if the arrears are not settled by the end of April.

The three-point deduction comes after Melaka United failed to settle the dues according to an earlier stipulated pre-payment scheme.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam in a statement said Malaka United defaulted payment after settling half of the arrears on Jan 31 – before the new M-League season kicked off on Feb 28 with the Charity Shield match between six-time Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) and FA Cup champions Kedah on Feb 28.

The curtain-raiser was played at the new Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri.JDT won the match – which also counted to the league points – 1-0 to retain the silverware after winning it in 2018 and 2019.

While it pains for Melaka United, there was good news for East Malaysian state Sarawak. Stuart said Premier League’s Sarawak has settled the outstanding dues for their players and officials.

Sarawak, however, still owes the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and Socso (Social Security Organization).

Together with Police and Kelantan, Sarawak must settle their dues or submit a settlement play by the end of April.

Stuart said the decision to dock Melaka United three points were made at the First Instance Body Club Licencing meeting on Friday. The meeting was chaired by Sheikh Mohd Nasir Sheikh Mohd Sharif.

Melaka United made a roaring start to their Super League campaign with wins in their first two opponents – UiTM FC (2-0, away) and Police (3-1, home) but faltered against Felda United lost 2-3, away) and lost 0-1 to Pahang at home. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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