Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman hopes there will be no more government bailouts of any football associations who fail to settle the salaries of their players and staff.
“This is a cycle each time they (the associations) spend lavishly at the start of the season, signing up too many players and not being able to pay them their salaries.
"Finally, they will seek aid from the state government, which in turn will ask the federal government for help. If this modus operandi of theirs fails to bear fruit, the state government will sell off a few parcels of its land," he said.
“The ones who suffer the most are the players, supporters and the public, in general. This happens repeatedly and we (the Youth and Sports Ministry) are caught in the middle.
"Hence, I hope this modus operandi of us having to bail them out every time will stop,” he said at a press conference after launching Rotary Malaysia’s Run Walk and Plog 2019 programme in Kuala Lumpur today.
Also present was Rural Development Minister Rina Harun.
Syed Saddiq reminded all football associations to be smarter in investing in players by spending according to their financial capability.
In January, 27 Perlis Football Association (PFA) players and staff were forced to become fishermen, clerks and car wash workers to earn an income after allegedly not being paid their salaries for nine months.
Meanwhile, Syed Saddiq said the media’s role as the “check and balance” to the government and the principles of media freedom should be respected.
Speaking at the launch of the Malaysian Women’s Journalists Association (Pertama) bowling competition, he expressed his appreciation to members of the media, especially women journalists, whom he described as being unique in covering news in these challenging times.
He said the ministry was committed to developing sports involving women, especially in the setting up of special academies to train women footballers.
“The media should give more coverage for women’s sports so that more sponsorships can be obtained to help develop their sports,” he said.