FELDA United can breathe a huge sigh of relief as their existence as a football club was no longer in doubt. After being threatened with extinction after their owners, the Federal Land Development Authority, declared their intention to axe the recently-relegated Fighters at the end of the 2020 season, outgoing club secretary Afrizal Abu Othman have announced on Wednesday that FELDA will underwent new ownership, guaranteeing their existence for the 2021 season. However, the Fighters would have to rebrand as they were no longer associated with the Federal Land Development Authority. This news came around the same time that a new football club called Rakyat United has made their presence known in Malaysian social media.
Othman revealed to Berita Harian that the new owners have handed over their financial support documents to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and they are now still waiting for the FAM’s approval of the takeover. However, Othman decided to play coy and refused to drop any clues in regards of the new owners’ identity.
“We can’t reveal who the new owners are yet,” Othman said, “We will announce them once FAM approves the relevant documents as part of the privatization process. We’ve actually passed the privatization process a while ago, however the FAM would want to know who are going to take FELDA United over, since the Federal Land Development Authority have withdrawn themselves from the team. So right now, we wait.”
Othman also refused to confirm whether the mysterious football club Rakyat United are the ones who are going to take control of the Fighters.
“Everything said about Rakyat United taking over from us comes from them, not us. Maybe it’s all just speculation,” Othman said, “We did meet Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the minister of Federal Territories (who is connected with the Rakyat United project) recently, but it’s because Tan Sri wants to establish a partnership with us.”
Regardless of whether FELDA United will become Rakyat United in the 2021 season, the team’s future has already been secured. Nidzam Jamil’s men can now prepare for the upcoming 2020 Malaysia Cup in early November, with FELDA determined to use the competition as a dress rehearsal to impress their new owners.
Whoever will take control of FELDA will must prepare the team for the 2021 Liga Premier Malaysia season as well as preparing for life without their best player Danial Amier, who’s set to join reigning Liga Super champions Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Who are Rakyat United?
Whilst Malaysian media are still busy covering any developments regarding FELDA’s fate, a mysterious new football club suddenly made itself known in the country’s social media. Calling themselves Rakyat United, this newly established club declared themselves as a club of the Malaysian people (rakyat), with a unique call for players in preparation for the 2021 Malaysian football season.
Rakyat United were looking for a specific set of players – 2 players between 14-17 years of age, 6 players aged between 18-29, 2 Chinese Malaysian players, 2 Indian Malaysian players, 2 Orang Asli (indigenous) players, 2 Sarawak-born players, 2 Sabah-born players, 2 players aged above 30 and 2 players aged above 50. This shows that the Rakyat United are fully committed into being the club for the Malaysian people, encompassing all walks of life within the nation.
In their official statement on their social media platforms, Rakyat United have stated that they plan to take control of an existing team within the Malaysian football pyramid and they will operate from within the Klang Valley area. To this end, they attempted to strike a partnership with Tan Sri, with the minister hoping to establish a football team within Malaysia’s administrative capital of Putrajaya. However, Tan Sri refused to comment further about his involvement with this mysterious football club.
It is interesting to see the developments at both FELDA United and Rakyat United, will the fates of these two clubs intertwine together? Only time will tell.