KUALA LUMPUR: Felda United face a tricky run of fixtures with Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final first leg against Perak SEDC the start of three successive away games in eight days.
Following the postponement of domestic matches due to Malaysia’s friendly international against Bhutan yesterday, Felda have been scheduled to face Terengganu II in the Premier League just three days after their FA Cup game.
The Premier League leaders then have a long-haul flight to Sabah for another league game on April 14 before hosting Perak SEDC in the return FA Cup tie six days later.
Coach B. Sathianathan said the heavy fixture load is unfair to his team, who have a 100 per cent record after seven league and cup games, compared to their opponents.
Super League club Perak SEDC do not have a midweek match to play while Terengganu II and Sabah are not involved in the FA Cup.
“We go to Kuala Terengganu three days after the FA Cup match in Batu Kawan and then fly to Kota Kinabalu,” said Sathianathan, whose side beat Kuala Lumpur 2-0 in a friendly in Cheras on Friday.
“All these teams will have ample rest before facing us. We are the only Premier League team still involved in the FA Cup yet we have to play in the middle of the week when the Super League teams don’t have to.”
The Super League does not restart until April 13 though champions Johor Darul Ta’zim have an AFC Cup game against Persija in Jakarta on April 10, four days after playing Pahang away in the FA Cup.
To add to Sathianathan’s annoyance, Perak SEDC insist on a 4.15pm kick-off for FA Cup first leg even though the Batu Kawan Stadium has been cleared by Malaysia Football League (MFL) to host night games.
“Apparently, the hosts can choose whatever kick-off time they want. But who is going to come to watch at 4.15pm? We might as well play at 2pm then,” said Sathianathan.
Felda have appealed to MFL to change the kick-off time for the FA Cup game as well as postpone their league match against Terengganu II.