July 12, 2018

A number of coaches from the unifi Liga Super Malaysia 2018 have expressed their opinions on the change of fixtures in the league to allow more Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) supporters to come to Stadium Tan Sri Dato’ Hj Hassan Yunos and join in the title celebration with the squad.

The league winners were initially supposed to carry out their title celebrations after the league match with Kelantan on Tuesday, 17 July 2018, however, thousands of Southern Tigers’ fans requested to change the game to next Friday, as it will allow more of them to come to the stadium and celebrate winning the league with the team as it will not be a working day on Saturday, compared to on Wednesday (based on the initial schedule).

This change will see four league matches (involving five teams) postponed in the process.

Out of the four league matches, two of the changes will include the postponement of PKNP FC’s games. Based on the league schedule, two of their league matches against JDT and Selangor (initially; 21 July and 24 July) have been changed to 23 July and 26 July respectively.

“I am impressed with them (JDT) this season and this must be seen as a form of motivation to the other teams,” as stated by PKNP FC head coach Abu Bakar Fadzim.

“This is a positive initiative taken to allow the fans to celebrate the season with the team on Friday.

Pahang head coach Dollah Salleh believes that the fans deserve to celebrate the title with the club.

“If we were in the same situation, I would want more fans to come to the stadium,” as quoted by him.

Perak boss Mehmet Durakovic also agreed with Dollah Salleh and believes more fans should be there.

“Congratulations to JDT. They beat us and clinched the title in Ipoh,” he said.

“I believe that more fans should be allowed to come and celebrate with the team.

Selangor head coach Nazliazmi Nasir feels that it is a good thing that more fans should attend the prize-giving ceremony.

“They (JDT) have the right to ask for a change of date because it is for the fans,” Nazliazmi said.

“The fans will come in tens of thousands and I think it is positive that they can do so.

Terengganu FC head coach Irfan Bakti will see one match get postponed in the fixture change.

“I believe it is a good move to allow the fans to come to Larkin and celebrate with the team,” he said.

Last but not least, new Kelantan head coach Yusri Che Lah admitted that the beautiful game of football will not be what it is without the fans, and the fixture change should not be regarded as an issue at all.

“We play football for the fans, so it is the same thing as us going back to the basics,” Yusri said.

“It will be good for my boys as well because they are young, and they will be able to experience the success earned by JDT and hopefully it will spark a fire in them in the coming seasons.”

The Southern Tigers will lift the league title after the match against Kelantan on July 20 at Stadium Tan Sri Dato’ Hj Hassan Yunos.