THE Football Association of Penang (FAP) has paid the three months outstanding salaries to all its players and staff.
FAP president Dr Amar Pritpal Abdullah said the outstanding wages were from April to June this year.
“As a matter of fact, I would like to emphasise that FAP has also settled the remaining debts for the past few years, amounting to over RM11 million.
“So basically, FAP is now free from any debt and I would like to express my utmost appreciation to the Penang government for their continuous support towards this association.
“The players and staff will have to concentrate on the remaining league matches that are expected to resume on Aug 26,” Dr Amar told reporters during the visit by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at the Batu Kawan Stadium today.
Dr Amar said that the FAP was also in the midst of setting up a special commitee to facilitate the transition process of FAP, from a football association to a football club.
“The transition from a football association to a football club has been made mandatory by FIFA.
“We will not be allowed to compete in the Malaysian Football League in the next season if we fail to comply with the order.
“We are doing our best to expedite the process before the deadline in September,” he said.
Dr Amar said the FAP had already obtained the approval from the Penang government to proceed with the privatisation process, during the state executive council meeting.
“We have come up wih rules and regulations for any interested stakeholder who wants to own FAP. The rules and regulations are to protect the welfare of the players and staff,” he added.
Chow and his team watched the training session conducted by FAP at the stadium today, as the players abide by the standard operating procedure (SOP) under the recovery movement control order (MCO).
Chow was accompanied by state Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee, Batu Kawan MP Kasthuriraani Patto, Bukit Tambun assemblyman Goh Choon Aik and Penang Stadium Corporation and Open Spaces (PSDKLPP) chief executive officer Mohamed Akbar Mustapha.
Chow hoped that the players and staff would continue to comply with the SOP during and after the training session to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We have to stay vigilant although the number of cases has reduced. Do not be complacent,” he said.
Chow added that the Penang government would continue to provide financial assistance to FAP until end of this year.
“We will ensure that the welfare of the players and staff is taken care of.
“We hope that the FAP players will give their best when the league resumes, so that the team can be promoted to the Super League next season.
“It is possible if everyone works hard and plays as a team,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Akbar announced the reopening of the racetrack in Batu Kawan Stadium to the public, beginning Aug 1.
“It will be open daily from 7am to 9am, and from 5pm to 7pm,” he said.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Ahmad Adil Muhamad
Video by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi