Yusri Che Lah, the chief coach of the Perlis SUKMA men’s football team has defended his decision to be placed in the same group as defending champions Sabah where he feels that his team should not be afraid to face anyone in the competition.
Perlis will be playing hosts to the SUKMA for the first ever this year which has been slated for 24 June to 4 May 2014.
Following the official draw of the team sport event this week, as hosts Perlis was given the choice of which group they want to be placed in and Yusri had chosen to be in the same Group A as Sabah – the men’s football gold medal winner at the SUKMA Pahang in 2012.
The other teams in the group are Pahang and Sarawak.
“The key is the President’s Cup tournament and I have been watching most of these teams playing and really, none has been impressive,” said the former Malaysian international.
“Furthermore, I also have taken into account that there are four teams in the group which is better than playing in either Group B or Group D, which only has three teams.
“Playing in a three-team group is even more risky as there are not enough points to be won. It was a calculated risk to be playing in Group A against the defending champions but I think that if we want to be winners, we should be able to play against anyone.”
The second seeded team in the draw was losing finalists Perak, who has been placed in Group B against Terengganu and Kedah.
The two losing semi-finalists, Wilayah Persekutuan and Negeri Sembilan, are in Group C and Group D respectively.
Group C will also have Selangor, Pulau Pinang and Melaka while Group D will see Johor and Kelantan doing battle.
SUKMA MEN’S FOOTBALL GROUPINGS
GROUP A: Sabah, Pahang, Perlis, Sarawak
GROUP B: Perak, Terengganu, Kedah
GROUP C: Wilayah Persekutuan, Selangor, Pulau Pinang, Melaka
GROUP D: Negeri Sembilan, Johor, Kelantan