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 By Paul Murphy

Selangor FA denied return to Shah Alam Stadium for 2018 MSL

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Homeless Selangor FA have hit out at the state government after being denied the opportunity to return to Shah Alam Stadium.

The Malaysia Super League (MSL) club's plan to play this year's home games at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil fell through after guarantees could not be provided over availability.

But MSL rivals PKNS and Premier Leage club Felcra will be hosting visitors to the Shah Alam, forcing Selangor to look elsewhere.

Last season, they used Selayang Stadium as their base, but the Selangor state government allegedly rejected several requests to return to the Shah Alam Stadium in 2018.

And FA of Selangor (FAS) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal has lost patience with the situation as the club continues to be denied support.

"The Selangor football team are being treated like beggars in their own state," Subahan said, as reported in The New Straits Times. "I think it is unfair for the state government to claim ownership of Shah Alam Stadium as the venue belongs to the people of Selangor.

"We wanted to balik kampung this year after spending 2017 at Selayang Stadium but it did not materialise as the state government did not respond to our countless request letters.

"They (state government) just do not want to meet us for discussions. It is not like we are requesting to play matches at Shah Alam Stadium for free as Selangor have always paid the booking fees for the venue in the past."

It is an unwelcome distraction for the club as they attempt to improve on last season's sixth-place finish, with new signings including Indonesian pair Evan Dimas and Ilham Armaiyn.

Subahan claims that the lack of budget from the state government has hindered his club, who now seek a return to Selayang Stadium or a move to KLFA Stadium.

But he hopes the team can still be competitive, with money coming in from a new sponsorship deal.

"The team still did decently [last year]," Seri said. "As for this year, we have managed to get sponsors for the upcoming season.

"We cannot be choosy anymore over venue. It does not matter whether we get to play at Selayang Stadium or KLFA Stadium.

"Of course, KLFA Stadium would be better as we can play at night... it will help us generate a healthy gate collection.

"If we play in Selayang, matches will not be in the evening as its floodlights did not meet regulations."

Selangor kickoff this year's MSL campaign away to newly-promoted Kuala Lumpur FC on Feb. 4, with their first home fixture coming against Melaka United three days later.

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK

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