Former FA of Malaysia (FAM) and Malaysian Football League (MFL) supremo HRH Major General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim took a hard shot at teams who want to use the COVID-19 pandemic to ask players to take a pay cut.

“Most players in the country are ready to cooperate with their respective teams regarding salary reductions due to the pandemic. But before teams make salary cuts please ensure that clubs which owe players must settle their arrears with the players first,” said the Johor Crown Prince in a posting the Southern Tigers Facebook.

Tunku Ismail who also owns Johor Darul Takzim (JDT), winners of the Malaysian Super League and the reigning Malaysia Cup champions, is irked by the teams like Melaka United, Penang, Kelantan and Kedah who are taking the way out not to pay arrears.

”It should not be a situation where two or three months salary is owed but COVID-19 is being used as an excuse to cut salaries. The teams must settle their arrears with the players first before making salary deductions due to the pandemic.

”’This is not a question of players refusing to cooperate. Instead, they are ready to work together but make sure all debts with the players are settled first before using COVID-19 as an excuse to cut their salaries.”

The Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) has come out with two strong conditions if they are to accept a proposed pay cut in the now-suspended Malaysian League due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Top of the demands is that teams that are owing to the players’ salaries will have to settle the dues first to ensure that the players’ rights are protected.

World football governing body Fifa has encouraged clubs and players to accept ”restructuring”
of salaries and all parties concerned to reach a consensus on the matter.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino made it clear that “health comes first” and no match, no competition as no league is worth risking a single human life” with nearly all leagues in the world currently suspended.

The Malaysian League has been suspended since Marc16 – two days before the federal government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) came into force.

PFAM also wants the team management to have negotiations with the players on an individual basis as they (the players) have different salary scales with their respective teams.

As it is Melaka United, one of the teams that are involved in salary arrears, has already shot down PFAM’s first suggestion while Kelantan FA (KAFA) secretary Husin Dereman said the East Coast outfit is acceptable to PFAM’s demands.

Meanwhile, Tunku Ismail also wished Southern Tigers fans, especially the Sikh community a Blessed Vaisakhi.  RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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