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11th June, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Lawrence Gimbang has quit Sabah Football Association (Safa).

The FA’s No 2 man, who has served the association since 1991, announced his resignation after chairing what will be his last Executive Committee Meeting here yesterday.

His resignation is to take effect from today.

Gimbang, who is also acting president following the resignation of Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman, which they accepted during their executive committee meeting on May 26, said Vice President, Datuk Harun Ismail, who also holds the acting deputy president post, also resigned from his respective posts.

Gimbang said the decision was made as to pave for a smooth leadership transition in Safa as well as for the betterment of the sport in the State.

“I was made to understand that Safa will be revamped. I’m happy to hear that (because it is) for the good and betterment of Safa … as a Sabahan I’m very proud of it.

“We resigned in order for new people to take over and we hope that Safa will continue to progress and become a football powerhouse.

“That is our wish because we are in Safa voluntarily and for the love of the game. We want to see football in Sabah achieve greater heights, and nothing else,” said Gimbang.

The long-serving Gimbang was around when Sabah lifted it’s first ever FA Cup crown in 1995. The following year, he was also around when Sabah lifted the then top-tier football division, the Premier League title.

“I want to thank the Safa Supreme Council members as well as our affiliate members for the cooperation they have given during my time with Safa,” he said.

Harun, on the other hand, said the decision to resign was done voluntarily along with Gimbang and hoped that it could help Sabah move forward.

Safa Vice President Datuk Yusof Kassim has been named as the new acting president during the transitional period. Meanwhile, secretary general of Safa, Datuk Alijus Sipil, said the process of electing a new leadership will be done according to Safa Constitution with advice received from Sabah Sports Commission.

Rectifying calls from social media for all Safa committee members to resign en bloc, Alijus said it could not be done for it is against the association’s constitution.

“To resign en-bloc of Safa Supreme Council members could not be done due to several reasons under the constitution.

“If it (resign en bloc) were to go on, Safa have to be dissolved and its membership terminated. This means we have to start from scratch to register the association again, which takes a long time.

“The best way for the leadership transition, following advice from Sabah Sports Commission, is the resignation involving several important posts in Safa.

“The Executive Committee meeting just now have confirmed that the posts of president, two deputy presidents and one vice president are vacant.

“So there are four main posts needed to be filled while the Treasurer’s post is by appointment from the president,” he said.

Alijus said the existing Safa Constitution allowed for 90 days for the positions to be filled at the annual Safa Congress but they are looking to speed up the process.

“We are looking to shorten it to 14 days and the best way to do so after advice from the Sports Commission is to pass the resolution at an EGM (Emergency General Meeting).

“For this reason the committee has set June 20 to conduct the EGM. If all the 26 Safa affiliates agree, we will submit the decision to Sabah Sports Commission the next day.

“Hopefully it (amendment) can be completed the same day (June 21) and the Sabah Sports Commission has agreed to help us to speed up the process.

“If all goes well, the earliest we can conduct the Safa Congress is on July 5 where the election for the important posts in Safa can be done,” he said.

The FA is without a treasurer after both Dr Lawrence Chu Jan and his Assistant Treasurer Mau Kam Wai also resigned from their respective posts late May.

For the record, the post of treasurer and assistant treasurer is by appointment, which is to be made by the president.

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