Debt-ridden Kelantan FA receive Fifa order to pay 3rd ex-import player

KOTA BHARU: The Kelantan Football Association (Kafa) have once again received a letter from Fifa ordering them to settle outstanding wages owed to a former import player.

Kafa taskforce chairman Ahmad Muzakkir Hamid said the directive to settle the wages of Tunisian Alaeddine Bouslimi was received two days ago, making it the third such claim after those received for Cássio De Jesus and Bruno Lopes.

“This time, the RM157,380 claim made by the Tunisian player who was with the Kelantan team during the 2018 season … has put a huge financial pressure on the association to pay off its debt.

“We expect the association to continue receiving letters from Fifa regarding former players’ debt claims and there may be eight more cases including that of a former coach,” he said today.

Previously, two former Kelantan import players from Brazil also claimed outstanding wages owed to them by the club, with Cassio de Jesus demanding RM629,620.28 and Bruno Lopes, RM141,103.60.

Ahmad Muzakkir said the association’s lawyers would hold negotiations with the respective import players to seek a fair outcome for both sides.

“It is even more stressful for us when the deadline given by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to settle the salary arrears of our former local players is June 30.

“We are still trying to prioritise settling these claims, especially from our local players. We have not raised the white flag yet, we’ll try till the very end, although our total debts amount to about RM5 million,” he said.

He said the association had cleared debts for the year 2019 in stages, including to the Employees Provident Fund, the Inland Revenue Board, and the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

“To date, the Kelantan football rescue fund launched in March has managed to collect RM25,000, and we will continue with the fund until Aug 31,” he added.