By Wendy John
SIBU, Feb 23: Sibu Football Association will form a team this year to compete in the Malaysian Football League (MFL) starting from the fourth tier M4 League.
Sibu FA president Dr Kamurudin Ahmed Junaidi said the move was in line with the agenda of the national body (Football Association Malaysia or FAM) that wanted only clubs to compete at all its leagues including the Super League and second-tier Premier League by 2021.
The M3 League and M4 League structure are part of the Amateur Football League (AFL), which will become a semi-professional tournament in 2021.
“After the formation of Kuching FA, which are now competing in the Premier League, Sibu also want to join the fray.
“To form a team for the national league, we need to be financially strong. Our team will named Sibu United,” he told a press conference after the launching of Sibu football academy here today.
Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) president Datuk Posa Majais was present.
About 30 players from Sibu Jaya have been selected for the academy headed by chief coach Mayah Mohd Albun.
Touching on its preparation for the M4 League, Kamurudin said Sibu FA has set a long term goal of getting its team to the Malaysian Super League.
“As all teams will be represented by club in the national league by 2021, we need to march forward now. We need strong sponsors and a stadium,” he continued.
Kamurudin said in order to achieve the vision, all football activities in the town needed to be run in a proper manner.
He lamented that there are still local tournaments that were not properly organised, such as engaging unqualified referees.
“We cannot select players from competitions not organised properly, as they end up producing ‘jaguh kampung’ (local champion),” he said.
Kamurudin advised organisers, especially elected representatives sponsoring football tournaments, against running “improperly” organised competitions.
“I urge those involved not to use football for their political mileage, as the game involves all races. Sports unite all people,” he continued.
Meanwhile, Posa questioned why sponsors only approach football clubs and not the footballing associations in the state.
“Competitions are sponsored by YBs to clubs. If the sponsors come to us, we can have a league. Why should they channel sponsor to them and not us,” he said.
On the lack of football field in Sibu, Posa said the state body has sent their application to the chief minister (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg) for consideration.
“It is not only Sibu that are lacking in football field, as all divisions are facing the same problem. We have highlighted the matter to the chief minister on behalf of all divisional football associations,” he said. — DayakDaily