Ismail Zakaria reveals hardships after Kuantan FA’s salary embarassment

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Football Association of Malaysia looking to help Kuantan FA settle their salary crisis which saw players and coaches go unpaid for 11 months.

Former Kuantan FA head coach Ismail Zakaria revealed the anguish he and his players suffered under the club’s management after not being paid for so long until they were abolished by the Malaysian Football League (MFL).

“The situation got so bad we had to use our own transport to get to matches, because the club’s bus driver was not paid. We also got chased out of our training ground, it was shameful,” Ismail, who is still without a job, told FOX Sports Asia.

“It’s a good thing the club got kicked out, because the FAM Cup transfer window was open and they could find new teams.”

 

Ever since they were kicked out by league administrators MFL last week, almost half of the 15 remaining squad members of the Premier League club have moved on to play in the third division FAM League.

While they still remain unpaid for wages up to 11-months, the matter is being looked into by the Football Association of Malaysia, and they will most likely get paid through the club grant.

MFL still have almost RM500,000 of Kuantan FA grant, and they will use some of that money to pay the players.

Ismail had also met with FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Amin and the national body’s legal department to resolve this matter.

“I really hope FAM will be able to help us get our money. We had tried to soldier on and play, but the last straw came against PDRM FA. I am just happy that a lot of the players have moved on.”

Marcerra United, through a special company owned by Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Feardaus Khairuddin, is the culprit of this whole mess.

“I had spoken to the owner before, and they said they had money. Myself and the management trusted them, but we never got paid a single cent ever since they took over,” added Ismail.

“Because they promised us funds, we signed a few import players and also good local players like Manaf Mamat and Abdul Hadi Yahya. We really felt cheated.”

Marcerra United, who competes in the FAM League, are also believed to be embroiled with salary issues.

Ismail, who has not received a pay cheque in four months, said this is an experience he will never forget.

“I have gone through many things as a coach but nothing like this. I will take it as a big lesson, take a rest and try to move on.”

Photo credit: Kuantan FA Facebook

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