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Open affair this time around


9th August, 2017


KOTA KINABALU: The 5th edition of the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman Cup Inter-District Football Tournament will be played on a more open approach in terms of players’ registration.

This time around, participating teams are allowed to hire players from other districts to don their colours.

However, before they can do so, they must first get consent or clearance from districts where the players are from.

“By doing this, it will give players more opportunities to see action in the tournament. For instance, if any particular player could not earn a spot in his district team, he still stands a chance to play in the tournament by donning another district’s colours,” said Sabah FA Deputy President II Datuk Lawrence Gimbang.

Lawrence, who is also the FA’s Local Competition Committee Chairman, said this when met after chairing the competition committee meeting that was attended by representatives from all the FA’s affiliates, held at its meeting room in Maksak Hall yesterday.

During the meeting, Lawrence said it has also been agreed that out-of-contract State Under-19 and Under-21 players are allowed to represent their respective districts.

He also said that teams which made it into the final round of the competition are allowed to take five players from teams within their group, and another five from outside their group.

Also present at the meeting were FA’s Supreme Council members, Datuk Juil Nuatim, who is also the team manager of the senior team, Benedict Asmat, who is the assistant team manager of the President’s Cup squad and Telupid District officer as well as Assistant Secretary General, Dr Mohd Farid Abdullah, Mohd Yassin Aman, who is the team manager of the Under-19 side, and Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya.

For the record, the annual tournament is set to kick off in October with the preliminary round stage where the participating teams have been drawn into eight groups.

Last year’s finalists Tawau are drawn in Group 1 alongside Semporna, Kunak and Lahad Datu, while Group 2 is made up of Tongod, Ranau and Telupid.

Sandakan, Kinabatangan and Beluran are drawn in Group 3, while Group 4 comprises Kota Marudu, Pitas and Kudat.

Tuaran, Kota Belud and Kota Kinabalu are in Group 5, while Penampang, Papar and Putatan in Group 6.

Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Sipitang are in Group 7, while Keningau, Tambunan, Nabawan and Tenom are in Group 8. The group stage will be played in a carnival-like tournament where they will play their matches in a round-robin format, with the top teams in each group making it into the final round.

The first four groups, which is to be decided by the FA , will play their matches on October 6, 7 and 8, while the other four groups on October 13, 14 and 15.

The final round will be held in Kota Kinabalu from October 30 to November 7.

Lawrence said they have picked the hosts and venues for the group stage with Lahad Datu, Ranau, Kota Kinabalu, Kudat, Penampang, Keningau, Sipitang and Beluran playing hosts to their respective groups.

Teams are allowed to register 20 players, which must be Malaysian citizens, and those Under-21 years’ old, or who are born on or after January 1, 1996.

Teams are also allowed to include five players, who are aged between 22-27 years old, in the list of 20 players, but only three are eligible to be on the field at any time of any match.

For the record, Labuan, who competed on invitation last year, are the defending champions. They edged hosts Tawau 4-2 in a penalty shootout in last year’s final. Both teams were tied one-all at the end of extra time.

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