PETALING JAYA, 8 Sept – Naturalized Malaysian Mohamadou Sumareh has been a hot name in Malaysian of late and the 25-year-old striker has not done the game any good – especially the national team where he is a vital cog.
Now reportedly with Thai Premier League club Police Tero FC, the Gambia-born Sumareh is set to be engulfed in a lengthy battle with his former team Pahang – the team that fought for him to get his Malaysian citizenship.
The Elephants, Pahang is known, is not taking the matter lightly although the management admitted that there was some delay in paying the salaries of their players. That matter has now been resolved before Pahang played six-time champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) in their opening match when the M-League resumed on Aug 28.
While the rest of Pahang players had the patience to take a wait and see attitude on the salary issues, Sumareh went AWOL and did not attend the team’s training for more than a month – leaving coach Dollah Salleh in a lurch.
Pahang suffered a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Southern Tigers at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan. There was more to come when the East Coast giants fell to an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to UiTM away.
The two defeats on the trot have left Pahang in the eighth position in the 12-team league with only six points from six matches. Without a doubt, Pahang is feeling the heat of Sumareh’s absence made worse with injuries to players like Dickson Nwakaeme.
Sumareh alone does not make a team but he has thrown a spanner in Dollah’s match plans. If Pahang takes legal action or hands the player a lengthy ban the Harimau Malaya will also have a domino effect. This is something national football coach Tan Cheng Hoe could ill afford as Malaysia is still in the running in the World Cup 2022/Asia Cup 2023 qualifiers in Group G.
The Harimau Malaya have three more matches, now postponed to next year March – against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) away, Vietnam (home) and Thailand (away).
Clause 8.7 of his contract provides for termination of his contract for non-payment of salary. It also allows the player to negotiate with any new club and released unconditionally on a free transfer.
Having spent 12 years in Malaysia, Sumareh you are simply ungrateful for what Pahang and Malaysia has done for your football career. You are also ungrateful to all those who helped you achieve star status and what you are today.
Sumareh you forgot there was room for negotiations but you chose to decide otherwise and disappeared without news. Pahang was not the only team hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic when sponsors either dumped the teams or could not fulfil their promises.
You left without a word and this has hurt all those who played a big role in your meteoric rise in the game in this region. Maybe you have the backing of certain parties but you will have plenty to answer that when Pahang seeks justice.
For now your action is summed up as disheartening and disappointment.  You left a big mess and it could be messier in time to come. Pahang is not going to take it lying down with what you did.
Sumareh you have forgotten your roots.

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