Kelantan win appeal, given deadline to pay debts to avoid MSL drop

Malaysia Super League (MSL) giants Kelantan still risk demotion to the second division, despite having a six-point deduction cut to three points.

The 2012 MSL champions have been given a deadline of Oct. 31 to settle all outstanding payments to past players and staff to avoid being automatically relegated.

The good news for the Red Warriors was their successful appeal that saw their six-point penalty -- for failing to complete the registration process for the 2017 season -- cut in half.

The decision means Kelantan jump from eighth to fifth in the MSL standings, on 17 points, above Selangor and Felda United on goal difference.

But the reprieve did not apply to FMLLP's transfer ban on the club. They were not allowed to register French-Senegalese forward L'Imam Seydi during the second transfer window which ended on June 11.

The transfer ban came into effect after Kelantan had failed to settle their players' salaries, employers' provident fund and tax issues.

Among those waiting for unpaid salaries is Kelantan's former Australia international defender Jon McKain, an import player in the 2015 and 2016 seasons who took his case to FIFA.

Without signing L'Imam, Kelantan will be limited to only three imports for the remainder of the 2017 season.

They are Lebanon striker Abou Bakr Al-Mel, who replaced the departed Mohammed Ghaddar, Gambia defender Mamadou Danso and French midfielder Morgaro Gomis.

Kelantan acting president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah has, however, not given up hope of registering L'Imam.

"We will keep trying for L'Imam to play for Kelantan. Whichever criteria we have yet to complete, we will do so. Our aim now is to try and register this player for the rest of the season," Afandi told Berita Harian.

On May 25, FMLLP granted a reprieve to T-Team and Perlis by reducing a six-point deduction to three points after their successful appeals.

Second-tier Armed Forces FA, who were initially slapped with a six-point deduction on May 2 along with the three other teams, are still awaiting a verdict from FMLLP.