Sabah FA

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Sabah FA
Full name Sabah Football Association
Nickname(s) Rhinos
Founded 1963
Ground Likas Stadium
Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
Ground Capacity 35,000[1]
Chairman Musa Aman
Manager Abdul Rahman Zakaria
Coach George O'Callaghan
League 2015 Malaysia Premier League
2014 Malaysia Premier League, 8th

The Sabah Football Association is an football association that supervises football in the state of Sabah. The association's football team competes in Malaysia's football league representing the state of Sabah in Borneo. Sabah is a professional football team and one of the 14 state teams of the Malaysian football structure. They currently competes in Malaysia's second division professional football league, the Malaysia Premier League.

The team's home matches are played at the 30,000 capacity Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu, the capital city of Sabah.


North Borneo football team became the first season winner of the Borneo Cup in 1962, one year before the merger to form Malaysia.

In the 1950s until 1963 Sabah competed as North Borneo football team in the Borneo Cup together with Sarawak football team and Brunei national football team. The North Borneo Football Association (NBFA) changed its name to Sabah Amateur Football Association (SAFA). Sabah qualify into the Malaysia Cup for the first time in 1977 and enter the competition in 1978.

Amateur and Semi-pro Era[edit]

Sabah was a well known team during the Malaysian football amateur and semi-pro era as state team produced many quality players namely the trio of James Wong, Hassan Sani and Peter Rajah. These players during their time led Sabah to become one of Malaysian football's most feared teams during the 80's.

One fine example was during the 1979 Malaysian League where Sabah started slowly. After a run of 8 matches, they stood with 3 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses but, during the later stages they stepped up a gear or five by winning all their remaining 8 matches with most of them by huge margins, including an incredible 8–0 thrashing of Sarawak, 11–0 hammering of Perak FA and the 6–1 beating of Terengganu FA. At the end of the season, Sabah finished as runners-up behind Singapore FA and became the highest scoring team with 49 goals in 12 games, which is an average of 3 goals per game.[2]

In 1991, Sabah striker Matlan Marjan became the first Malaysia to score a double against England in 'A' international matches on 12 June 1991.[3]

Professional Era[edit]

When professional football was introduced by Football Association of Malaysia, Sabah also made a reputation of being one of the Malaysian League's most competitive teams. Quality professional players were produced from the ranks during the 1990s, most notably Matlan Marjan who helped Sabah finish as runners-up during 1993 and 1994 Malaysia FA Cup, and who at one time was appointed as the national team captain by the then Malaysian national team coach Claude Le Roy.

The positive results gained from the beginning of professional era however was cut short by the match fixing scandal that rocked Malaysian football in 1994. The scandal almost destroyed Sabah and Malaysian football in general. Sadly, Matlan was the one of several players found guilty for being involved in the scandal. As a punishment for their involvement in match fixing, he and the other players were banned for life by FIFA from being involved in football.

After the scandal, Sabah began its rebuilding process to regain their reputation in Malaysian football. Sabah won their first professional trophy, the Malaysia FA Cup in 1995. In the 1996 season, Sabah won their first league title and went through to the final of the Malaysia Cup for the first time but were beatened by Selangor FA on penalties.

The 2000 season could be considered as Sabah's worst since joining the Malaysian professional league. They were relegated to the second division and could not get past the group stages of the Malaysia Cup. However, Sabah quickly regained its performance in the 2001 season where they finished as runners-up behind Johor FC.[4]

In the 2002 season, Sabah lining up players of calibre such as Zainizam Marjan, Khairul Azman Mohamed, and foreign striker Josiah Seton, finished third in the league and again managed to get through to the final of Malaysia Cup by beating Selangor Public Bank and Perak FA. Sabah however finished as runners-up yet again by losing to the same team that beat them in 1996 final, Selangor FA. This time, Sabah lost by 'golden goal' scored by Mohd Amri Yahyah.[5]

In 2003, Sabah again finished third in Malaysia Premier League One. Sabah again reached the final of Malaysia Cup. This time they lost to club-side Selangor MPPJ by 3–0, with hattrick from Juan Manuel Arostegui.

When Malaysian Super League was introduced in 2004, Sabah struggled to be competitive against other teams in the top league. Sabah only managed to stay in Super League for two seasons as they were relegated to Malaysia Premier League for the 2005/06 season.

After the relegation to 2nd tier league, Sabah continued to struggle for promotion to get back into the top division. They lost to Pahang FA in the 2006/07 season play-off for a place in 2007/08 Malaysia Super League.

After 6 years playing in the 2nd tier Premier League, Australian coach Gary Phillips was able to guide Sabah to promotion in 2010 - his first season in charge. After poor results which have affected Sabah's performance in the 2011 league and also the cup, Gary Phillips was replaced by Justin Ganai to save Sabah from relegation zone. Ganai improved Sabah FA performance in 2011 Malaysia Cup where the team reached the quarterfinals. Sabah are currently playing in the 2012 Malaysia Super League.


Likas Stadium, the home stadium for Sabah FA.

Likas Stadium is the current home ground for Sabah FA. Penampang Stadium is occasionally used for afternoon matches, usually when Likas Stadium was renovated or if floodlights require maintenance. Tawau Sports Complex is a regular venue that only for the Malaysia Premier League.

Club culture[edit]


  • North Borneo Ultras
  • Sabah Rhinos
  • The Sabahawks


Sabah FA was formerly called the Rhinos since the golden 90s era but in 2010 SAFA changed the mascot to Hawks to rebrand the ailing football team.[6] It was a controversial move as Kuala Lumpur FA was already known as the Hawks.[7] Sabah FA reinstated its name as the Rhinos starting from 2015.[8]


Sabah FA neighbouring rival is Sarawak FA with both claiming the title of 'the best in Borneo' and referred to as the Borneo derby.


Radio coverage of regular season matches are broadcast on Sabah FM 89.9 in Malay language.



Malaysia Cup
1996, 2002, 2003
Malaysia Super League (1x)
Malaysia Premier League
2001, 2010
Malaysia FA Cup (1x)
1993, 1994, 1998
Malaysian Charity Shield
Borneo Cup (14x)
1962, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985


Year Position League FA Cup Malaysia Cup
1995 5/15 Premier League
1996 Champion Premier League Quarter final
1997 3/15 Premier League 2nd Round Group Stage
1998 5/12 Premier League
1999 4/10 Premier 1
Group Stage
2000 11/12 Premier 1 1st Round Group Stage
Premier 2
Group Stage
2002 3/14 Premier 1 Quarter-final
2003 4/13 Premier 1
2004 6/8 Super League Quarter-final
2005 8/8 Super League Quarter-final Group Stage
2006 4/8 Premier League (Group B) 1st Round Group Stage
2007 6/11 Premier League Quarter-final
2008 4/13 Premier League Quarter-final Group Stage
2009 9/13 Premier League 1st Round Group Stage
Premier League 1st Round Group Stage
2011 10/14 Super League 1st Round
2012 13/14 Super League 1st Round DNQ
2013 5/12 Premier League 2nd Round DNQ
2014 8/12 Premier League 2nd Round DNQ

Performances In The Regional Tournaments[edit]

1996: Round of 16


No. Name Nationality Position
1 Irwan Jamil Malaysia GK
22 Mohd Fazli Paat Malaysia GK
25 Endre S.Tipay Malaysia GK
2 Zuraindey Jumai Malaysia DM,RB
3 Mohd Khairi Kiman Malaysia LB
4 Abdoulaye Faye Senegal CB
5 Abdul Thaufiq Abdul Haq Malaysia CB
12 Julamri Muhammad Malaysia LB
15 Rosdin Wasli Malaysia CB
16 Hardy Charles Parsi Malaysia CB,LB
34 Rawilson Batuil Malaysia CB
7 M. Yoganathan Malaysia CM
10 Mohd Ezaidy Khadar Malaysia LM,LW,RM,RW
14 Jenius Karib Malaysia DM,CM
20 Alto Linus Malaysia RM,RW,LM,LW
26 Muhd Izuan Salahuddin Malaysia LM,LW,RM,RW
27 Maxsius Musa Malaysia RM,RW
28 Didie Arizal Ibrahim Malaysia LM,LW
37 Azzizan Nordin Malaysia CM,DM
9 Éamon Zayed Libya ST
11 El Hadji Diouf Senegal ST,RW,LW
17 Leopold Alphonso Malaysia ST
21 Rozaimi Abdul Rahman Malaysia ST,LW
23 Muhammad Shafiq Jamal Malaysia ST
Fazrul Nawaz Singapore ST


Transfer In 2014[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Australia MF Srećko Mitrović (from Deltras)
Croatia DF Predrag Pocuca (from Besa Kavajë)
Malaysia GK Fazli Paat (from Johor Darul Takzim II F.C.)
Malaysia MF Redzuan Nawi (from Johor Darul Takzim F.C.)
Malaysia MF Ezaidy Khadir (from Johor Darul Takzim II F.C.)
Malaysia FW Farid Ideris (from Johor Darul Takzim II F.C.)
Malaysia DF Mohd Reithaudin Awang Emran (from Cebagoo FC)
Malaysia MF Maxsius Musa (from Harimau Muda B)
Syria FW Marwan Sayedeh (from Pelita Bandung Raya)
Malaysia MF Isma Alif Mohd Salim (from T–Team F.C.)
Malaysia FW Rozaimi Abdul Rahman (from Harimau Muda A)
Brazil MF Andrezinho (from Tarxien Rainbows)
Malaysia MF Leopold Alfonso Otong (from Free Agents) April Transfer
Liberia FW Jerome Suku Doe (from Anges FC) April Transfer


Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Malaysia GK Mohd Shahril Sa'ari (to T–Team F.C.)
Malaysia DF Razid Gapar (to Release)
Malaysia DF Sumardi Hajalan (to Negeri Sembilan FA)
Malaysia FW Alto Linus (to T–Team F.C.)
Malaysia DF Shahril Faizal Sharifuddin (to T-Team F.C.)
Malaysia DF Hardy Charles Parsi (to Johor Darul Takzim II F.C.)
Wales DF Rhys Weston (to AFC Wimbledon)
Malaysia DF Mohd Hafizzulldin Mohd Noor (to Malacca FA)
Malaysia DF Wan Mohd Azwari Wan Noor (to Malacca FA)
Malaysia MF Shahrul Azhar Ture (to PKNS F.C.)
Malaysia MF Shahruddin Yakup (to Johor Darul Takzim II F.C.)
Malaysia MF Radzi Mohd Hussin (to PKNS F.C.)
Malaysia MF Mohd Farid Saibun (to Malacca FA)
Malaysia MF Ibnu Mohd Kassim (to Release)
Malaysia MF Mohd Fazilidin Khalid (to PDRM FA)
Malaysia FW Juffery Omopor (to Cebagoo F.C.)
Burkina Faso FW Koh Traore (to Released)
Malaysia FW Khairul Izwan Khalid (to Putrajaya SPA F.C.)
Malaysia FW Wan Mohd Alif Wan Jasmi (to PBAPP FC)
France MF Abdulfatah Safi (to Released)
Malaysia FW Wan Mohd Hoesne Wan Hussain (to Released)
Malaysia MF Pritam Singh Charun Singh (to MISC-MIFA)
Malaysia DF A. Varathan (to Penang)

Season 2014 President's Cup team[edit]

For the president's cup squads, see Sabah FA President's Cup Team.

Sabah President's Cup Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Malaysia GK Robson Rining Bin Rining
Malaysia GK Clintone Dadan
Malaysia MF Anwari Mohd Tajuddin
Malaysia FW Rusmanizam Roseland
Malaysia DF Andy Roslan
Malaysia DF Ricco Nigel Milus
Malaysia DF Dyrrance Junaidih
Malaysia MF Awangku Mohd Hamizan Awangku Hamzah
Malaysia DF Junaidi Sikin
Malaysia FW Hafizan Bin Jahar
Malaysia DF Dinison Bin Mathew
Malaysia DF Shazree Ruhif Ismail
Malaysia MF Ervone Tads Thomas
Malaysia MF Randy Baruh Samson
No. Position Player
Malaysia FW Saliun bin Mastar
Malaysia MF Muhammad Faris Hakim
Malaysia MF Mohd Razle Puteh
Malaysia MF Jenryanus Bin Paulus
Malaysia MF Mohd Azli Saidi
Malaysia MF Ridzuan Raymend
Malaysia MF Ummareng Bin Bacok
Malaysia MF Justin Samaan
Malaysia FW Renuil Kuasim
Malaysia FW Gerald Sean Bin Mojikon
Malaysia FW Eyo Bin Mathew
Malaysia FW O'neil Shanahan Marcellinus Bungkilan
Malaysia FW Abdul Adlin Kadir
Malaysia FW Awangku Mohd Fariss bin Mahamud

U19 team[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Malaysia GK Datu Mohd Armin Datu Muhd
Malaysia GK Masran Masri
Malaysia GK Jashaniezzan Rasman
Malaysia DF Mohd Harnain Hartono
Malaysia DF Zulhafiz Abdul Mahal
Malaysia DF Ghazali Abdul Ismail
Malaysia DF Dyrrance Junaidih
Malaysia DF Randy Baruh @ Samson
Malaysia DF Muhammad Khirul Kamaruddin
Malaysia DF Mohd Azfizam Norli
Malaysia DF Josesua Jubin
Malaysia MF O’Neill Shanahan Marcellinus Bungkilan
Malaysia MF Mohd Ikhmal Akid Bahari
Malaysia MF Amirjan Yunus
No. Position Player
Malaysia MF Mohd Juraid Lijas
Malaysia MF Saidi Latip
Malaysia MF Ahmad Sabri Ahmad Urayah
Malaysia MF Malik Jukup
Malaysia MF Mohd Mardi Makmur
Malaysia MF Mohd Fazzrey Karim
Malaysia MF Muhamad Hafiz Muhd Kamal
Malaysia MF Mohd Haqqul Yaqin
Malaysia FW Rahmanshah Marajeh
Malaysia FW Klismon Aribulan
Malaysia FW Fazriel Hanafi Stepanus
Malaysia FW Salprin Salleh


Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Chairman Malaysia Musa Aman
C.E.O Malaysia Datuk T.C Goh
Technical Director Republic of Ireland George O'Callaghan
Head Coach Malaysia Justin Ganai
Assistant Coach Republic of Ireland Clive Clarke
First Team Coach Republic of Ireland Graham Cavanagh
Goalkeeping coach Malaysia Mohd Noor@Francis Xaverius Sanga
Fitness coach Republic of Ireland Liam Kearney
Physiotherapist Malaysia Matlan Basir
U21 Manager Malaysia Datuk Juil Nuatim
U21 Head team coach Malaysia Burhan Ajui
U21 Assistant coach Malaysia Jelius Ating
U21 Goalkeeping coach Malaysia Jasrin Jabidin
U21 Fitness coach Malaysia Andrew Majanggim
U21 Physiotherapist Malaysia James Edwin
U19 Manager Malaysia Othman Abdullah
U19 Head team coach Malaysia Rozlee Idris
U19 Assistant coach Malaysia Ahmad Fakhrurazi
U19 Goalkeeping coach Malaysia Mark Damun Sagar
U19 Physiotherapist Malaysia Azirul Hassan
Massuer Malaysia Mr Hu
Kitman Malaysia Anizam Zainudin


For recent transfers, see List of Malaysian football transfers 2015

Managers and coaches[edit]



Former notable players[edit]


Players with Bolted that represent the Malaysia national football team while playing for Sabah.


Football Clubs[edit]

Affiliated Clubs within the Association[edit]

Affiliated Clubs outside the Association[edit]


External links[edit]