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Zainal Abidin Hassan’s service retained by Melaka United despite underwhelming 2020


Despite earlier reports that Melaka were looking to appoint a foreign new head coach, the club have decided to retain Zainal Abidin Hassan’s service.

Despite earlier reports that they were looking to appoint a foreign new head coach, Malaysia Super League side Melaka United have decided to retain Zainal Abidin Hassan’s service for the 2021 season.

In a press conference held on Friday, association deputy president Datuk Wira Yusoff Mahadi announced that the former Malaysia international has been re-signed for another season.

“Although the team has underperformed somewhat this season, but the club still trust him to improve on their performance next year.”

The 59-year old Zainal has been with the Mousedeer since the 2019 season, and in 2020 only managed to guide them to a ninth-place finish.

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Also announced was the appointment of club CEO Datuk Saiful Mat Sapri, as part of the privatisation/separation exercise undergone by Malaysian clubs this season.

Saiful revealed that they are parting ways with former Malaysia star Safiq Rahim, after employing him since 2019 on loan from Johor Darul Ta’zim.

“We have decided to not retain him, and he will be replaced with another renowned experienced player. The attacking player still receives Malaysia national team call-ups, and we will decide on this next week,” explained Saiful.

Safiq Rahim. Photo by Sports Regime

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