KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 23 – Naturalized Gambia-born Malaysian football ‘millionaire’, Mohamadou Sumareh is in the limelight again after he won his case filed with FIFA against his former team Pahang for a breach of the contract and won him a whopping USD1.2 million (RM4.9 million) in back wages.
Questions are now being asked if Sumareh holds two citizenships – Malaysian and Gambian – and was allowed to file his case with the world football governing body?
When he reported to FIFA he was already a Malaysian citizen. How did the FA of Malaysia (FAM) let him do that?
He was given Malaysian citizenship in April 2018 and as a Malaysian, he should have filed his case with the FAM.
How was he allowed the passage to FIFA without going through the FAM? Perhaps the FAM could throw some light on this matter.
Does this leave a big question mark if he is accorded special treatment in this matter and had the backing of certain individuals with clout?
It looks like the Gambian-born is enjoying the best of both world which should not be the case if he is a Malaysian citizen now.
”We wonder if he is Malaysian or a Gambian? If he is a Malaysian citizen, he should be hauled up for disciplinary action for not bringing his case to the FAM first. Is he getting preferential treatment in the FAM? ” asked a state FA official.
As a Malaysian, he was called up for national training in October 2018 and found himself a place in the national team for the friendlies against Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan.
Since then he has made 19 appearances for Harimau Malaya and is a key player in the team.
He has been residing in Malaysia since 2006 when he was 12 years. After staying in the country for five years he was accorded Malaysian citizenship with great help from his former team Pahang before he dumped the Elephants over the late payment of salaries.
Before joining Pahang, Sumareh played for Police from 2013 to 2015 and Perlis (2016). He moved to Pahang in 2017 before abandoned the team in August last year after failing to report for training.
The world football governing body has ruled in favor of the national midfielder who took the matter to FIFA on late payment of salaries, including an annual increment of USD5,000 after his second year with the Elephants.
He alleged that his salary remained stagnant although there is a clause in his contract that includes an annual increment of USD5,000 after his second year with the East Coast giants.
Sumareh disappeared from Pahang in August last year, claiming he has not been paid his salaries and failed to show up for training under coach Dollah Salleh for the opening league match against Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) at home when the league resumed on Aug 28, 2020. JDT won the match 3-2.
After a brief stint with Thai club Police Tero, Sumareh has now signed up with seven-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim for the new season.
He was also strongly linked to Selangor after he abandoned Pahang.
Pahang has cried foul on FIFA’s ruling but can bring the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) or will have to pay Sumareh the amount within 45 days of the FIFA ruling. The CAS will enable Pahang to go through all documents on the case.