Pic credit to SUFC
PETALING JAYA, Nov 1 – There is no denying that off field issues was a major factor in Sarawak United’s 4-0 thrashing at the hands of Kuala Lumpur City FC in a Group A Malaysia Cup match at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras on Saturday.
The two teams cross path again on Wednesday – with Sarawak United still reeling from the big defeat against the City Boys – knowing that another nightmare is on the cards without key players like Taylor Regan (Australian defender) and Lee Chang Hoon (South Korean midfielder) who are still nursing injuries.
The towering Regan, who played an influential role in the backline, was sorely missed last Saturday.
So was playmaker Chang Hoon. Regan is nursing a hamstring injury while the Korean is down with an ankle injury.
However, the most pressing issue that has plagued the Golden Hornbills is late payment of salaries.
The welfare of the players need to be arrested urgently as the figures are three months overdue.
Don’t forget the players too have to take care of their families and bills to be paid during these trying times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sarawak United supremo Datuk Posa Majais left the team in a lurch and was instead busy with his national duty as the team manager of the National Under-23 for the Group J qualifiers in the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup championships which ended in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia on Sunday.
Well done to Malaysia for making the AFC Under-23 Finals, which will be played in Uzbekistan (June 1-19) next year, with an unbeaten record.
Coach Brad Maloney and the players deserve a pat on the back for the achievement despite being the last team to arrive in cold and chilly weather conditions in Ulaanbaatar. The matches were played on an artificial turf.
Nobody questions his role as the National Under-23 team manager but he should have also paid attention to his team Sarawak United.
For the record, the Golden Hornbills despite the salary issues with unsettled payments related to EPF and the Inland Revenue Board, showed loyalty to the team with pride and passion.
Coming back to Sarawak United, the East Malaysian outfit gained promotion to the elite Super League for the season after finishing runners-up to Negeri Sembilan in the Premier League.
That “promotion” is now in jeopardy if Sarawak United FC fail to settle the dues and has already received a warning from the Malaysian Football League.
How do you motivate the players and team officials with these nagging issues? Self motivation alone is not good enough when their livelihood is affected.
Let’s see what happens next. It starts with the return match against KL City on Wednesday. There is only so much head coach E. Elavarasan can do in training.

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