Thursday, 22 December 2011

Negri Sembilan and Terengganu unhappy with FAM over stadium lighting problems

Several stadiums have failed to meet the specification on flood lighting for the new M-League season. And the teams concerned may either have to play in the afternoon or look  for alternative venues.

With the season just a few weeks away, only five stadiums have  passed the minimum requirement, set by the FA of Malaysia (FAM),  to host matches at night.

The approved stadiums are the National Stadium (Bukit Jalil), Utama Stadium (Kangar), Darulaman Stadium (Alor Star), USM Stadium (Penang) and Temerloh Stadium, which all have a minimum illumination reading of 800 lux.

The State FAs of the "unapproved" stadiums have been given the ultimatum by FAM to make the required  adjustments to their  venues before the upcoming inspection.

The Negri Sembilan and Terengganu FAs, are, however, unhappy with FAM's inspectors, who they felt were unprofessional with their conduct.

Negri FA president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan told Bernama yesterday that FAM failed to notify his association in writing on the status of the Paroi Stadium.

"FAM did not inform us officially. We only learnt about it through the media," said Mohamad.
"According to reports that I received, inspection was carried out two or three times at the stadium and everyone said it was okay.

"If the stadium did not meet the specification, they (FAM) should have informed us earlier and not now when the season is about to start."

Terengganu and T-Team may also have to play their home matches in the afternoon now that the state government has refused to foot the bill for improved lighting at Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said it was not the state government's fault that the FAM technical committee found the stadium not bright enough for night matches when they came for inspection earlier this month.

Ahmad, when speaking in Gong Badak on Saturday, said just because Terengganu are playing in the AFC Cup this year, it does not mean that the state government will have to spend more money to improve the lighting system to meet international standards.

"The new lighting system was installed last year and the football people should have informed  us the international lighting standard for night matches back then.

"If they told us last year that we needed to have a reading of 3,000 lux, then we would have followed their advice but now, a year later, they say that our stadium is not bright enough for international matches," he said.

The new lighting system was installed last year at a cost of almost RM1 million when the stadium was found unfit for Super League night matches.

For the league night matches, a minimum illumination  of 800 lux is sufficient but for international games, a minimum  of 1,200 lux is required.

In the earlier inspection by the FAM technical committee, three out of nine locations on the pitch registered below 800 lux readings and a passing mark of 800 lux or better will have to be recorded at all nine locations when the inspection team come back on Wednesday.

The cost for a new, improved lighting system is estimated to be RM2.8 million.

Ahmad said in order to meet the international lighting standard, new towers will need to be erected and new cables will have to be installed.

"The stadium's lighting system is just one year old and we will look stupid if we were to replace it with a new one.

"If it means that night matches cannot be held at our stadium then so be it and we will play our matches in the afternoon," he said.

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