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 By Nicolas Anil

Annuar Musa rules out return to troubled Kelantan as president in MSL

Kelantan advisor Tan Sri Annuar Musa has shot down rumours that he will contest the presidency in the upcoming club elections on Sept. 17, insisting there are others "better than him" to lead the troubled state side.

The Red Warriors have been in crisis-mode since the start of this season.

After almost pulling out due to a lack of sponsors, Kelantan were docked six points for failing to complete the necessary registration process for the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL)

Their sanction was reduced to three points on appeal, but their participation for next season's campaign is also in doubt.

This is after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) rejected their application for club licensing after they could not meet the necessary requirements.

They are also in hot water for failing to pay past salaries to former staff, including their ex-defender Jon McKain, the former Australia international and 2004 Olympian.

With no one to turn to, Annuar's name was thrown in the mix yet again, but he shot down the speculation.

"I understand my name is mentioned for the Kelantan FA presidency, but I don't have to contest because I believe there are others better suited than me," Annuar said in a Facebook post.

"This year, I did not hold any position, but voluntarily found RM8 million through my contacts to allow the club to compete in the league.

"So, let Kelantan be without me. I am sure like the rest who are commenting on social media, that Kelantan football will be better and stronger with a new leader."

Apart from the non-payment of salaries to past and present players, the East Coast giants have made some questionable recruitment decisions this season.

After selling Lebanon striker Mohammed Ghaddar to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) for an undisclosed fee, Kelantan went on to purchase Abou Bakr Al-Mel and L'Imam Seydi while hiring Uruguay's Alfredo Carlos Gonzales as technical director.

But the club couldn't register L'Imam because it was ruled that acquiring the French-Senegalese forward would disrupt Kelantan's already shaky finances.

Kelantan boss Annuar Musa with Alfredo Carlos Machado and Sanna Nyassi
Tan Sri Annuar Musa. second left, says Kelantan will be stronger without him as president.

The former treble winners have until Oct. 31 to re-apply for their FAM club licensing and get the green light, or risk expulsion.

They could still be relegated on their own this season, sitting only a point above the drop zone in ninth.

Kelantan coach Zahasmi Ismail has three games to salvage a forgettable campaign, beginning with the trip to champions JDT on Sept. 20.

The Kota Bharu outfit are also out of the Malaysia Cup following their 2-0 loss to Kedah in the group stage last Saturday.

Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.



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