Malaysia All Stars claim they were duped

As published in Mailsport today


By Haresh Deol
haresh@mmail.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian team that played Persib in Bandung last Saturday claimed they were caught off guard after the organisers labelled them Malaysia All Stars.

Rasah Jaya FC team manager Abdul Rafi Abdul Murad said they were initially informed by the agent the game at the Si Jala Harupat Stadium was a “friendly”.

The visitors, coached by Nick Sham Abdullah, lost 4-1.

“But to our shock we saw the press when we arrived at the airport on Friday. We also saw posters which included two M-League players and there was a press conference,” he said.

“We told them we cannot use the name Malaysia All Stars but they insisted. In fact, they got angry when we stressed we wanted to stay out of the match. We feared for our safety and decided to play.”
He said the match was disorganised and even saw the kick off time rescheduled from 7pm to 4pm at the eleventh hour.

“We did not even step out of the hotel after the match. We wanted to leave Bandung immediately but were unable to do so as our return tickets were booked for Monday.”

Abdul Rafi, who claimed he was part of Negri Sembilan King’s Gold Cup management, said he was well aware of the repercussion playing in Indonesia as their national body was suspended by Fifa following government interference.

He stressed the team did not carry the Malaysian flag and any symbol representing the FA of Malaysia (FAM) or the country.

“I would not want to jeopardise the players’ position as some of them are playing in the M-League.”
Nick Sham, who previously coached NS Betaria and Malacca, refused to divulge much information.
“I was just invited to coach the team. I do not know anything more. The management would be able to answer your questions,” he said.

The match hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons as FAM and Asian Football Confederation have pledged to investigate.

A police report was lodged on Saturday after former Kelantan defender S. Subramaniam said his image was used in a promotional poster without his permission.

Malay Mail’s revelation regarding the match has been picked up by several Indonesian news portals including Goal.com, msports.net and bolalob.com.

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