Jun 19, 2012

SAFA removed Justin Ganai

KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai’s reign as head coach of the State Super League team has come to an end.

He was relieved from the post by his employer, the Sabah FA, yesterday, following a string of defeats.

But the final straw came after the annihilation loss to Singapore’s Lions XII on Saturday.

Sabah played horribly in that match and saw them being whitewashed 9-0, a record loss in the Super League’s history.

The black memory has left the Sabah FA with no choice but to look for a new alternative to rejuvenate the State side that has been struggling since the start of the season – no thanks to injury and suspension among the key players.
However, Justin will not be completely sidelined, as the FA is likely to give him a new role probably in the development of the game.

“The Sabah FA Supreme Council members, and the President (Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman), wish to express our disappointment on the team’s defeat to Singapore Lions XII on Saturday.

“We believe that losing and winning is part and parcel of the game, but 9-0 is a record, and as one of the feared teams in the national football scene not so long ago, the defeat saddens us,” said the FA Vice President I Datuk Osman Jamal when announcing Justin’s removal at a press conference at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport upon his arrival from Tawau late yesterday evening.

The FA’s Assistant Secretary General II Tuan Hj Nizam Datuk Seri Panglima Abu Bakar Titingan and Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya were also present.

Osman also revealed that there has been no late payment of salary issue, as the players have been paid on time.

“So now we hope the players will do their duty and play their hearts out for the State of Sabah,” said Osman.

“But because of the embarrassing defeat … and this was our third consecutive defeat, the FA has decided to rest our current head coach so that the team can be reorganised from the aspect of team spirit, teamwork, discipline, mental strength and most importantly from the aspect of tactics and strategy of the team,” he said, before adding that of late the team’s strategy and tactics have been ineffective.

He also revealed their plan to hire a new coach.

However, he refused to reveal the identity of their targeted man.

“I will be meeting him (new coach) on June 21, and if things go according to plan, the FA will hold a meeting and will discuss about his (new coach) appointment,” said Osman.

When pressed further, he said the man they are eyeing is an experienced coach and a West Malaysian who has coached several teams in Malaysia.

“As the Vice President of the association, I would also like to advise the players not to be too saddened with the defeat, but take it as a lesson and start anew for the sake of the good name of Sabah.

Osman believes that the team can overcome this setback as long as the players have the will to do it.

With the imminent arrival of a new coach, he said they are confident Sabah will remain in the Super League. “And that is our new target … to stay in the Super League.

Osman, on behalf of the association, also says sorry to the Sabah fans for the humiliating defeat to the Lions XII.

“We will do our level best to reorganise the team and better our performances in the remaining eight games,” he said, while urging the fans not to give up, but to continue showing their support to the team.

Sabah will be without Justin when they take on Selangor PKNS in a Super League tie at the Likas Stadium tonight.

And Osman said they will hold a meeting at 10am today to decide who would stand in for Justin.

To a question whether there is any element of match-fixing, Osman refused to be drawn into the matter.

He said: “We, the Supreme Council members, are not experts in this, but we have a committee (in every State FA) appointed by the FA of Malaysia to look into the matter. Once we receive a report from the committee, we will take appropriate action according to our rules and regulations.”

“For now, we still have faith with our players and they are still our employees under the contract they signed with the FA. But as I have said earlier, if there is, we will take action,” he added.

For the record, Justin was seen nowhere at the team’s training yesterday evening that prompted assistant coach Andrew Majanggim, who is the holder of a FAM Licence B, to take over temporarily.

And it will be interesting to see how Sabah copes with the defeat against PKNS.

News source:
News Sabah Times

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