JOHOR BARU, Dec 9 — The Malaysian Handball Federation (MAHF) will hold talks with the Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu over its suspension by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM).

MAHF president Pandak Ahmad said the federation was suspended following its failure to pay RM133,000 when participating in the Asian Games in Palembang, Jakarta in 2018.

As a result of the suspension, he said MAHF could not send a team to the Asian Cup qualifiers in Saudi Arabia in January next year and will not be present at the International Handball Union (IHF) World and Asian Congress.

“The suspension was imposed before I took back the post of MAHF president in March last year,” he said.

Pandak explained that under the terms agreed with OCM as part of MAHF settlement, the figure is approximately RM10,000 a month.

“In a pandemic situation, it is quite difficult for us to meet the monthly payment and the federation had asked the previous minister of youth and sports Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican to resolve this issue.

“However, until now OCM president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria has maintained that MAHF will need to consult new Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in an effort to resolve the issue,” said Pandak during a media conference held here today.

MAHF was previously suspended after the previous president failed to settle the federation’s debts for expenses to participate in the Palembang Asian Games.

Pandak said the suspension would be lifted if the federation manages to settle its debt as requested by OCM.

“The Annual General Meeting will be held on December 14 over whether the minister of youth and sports will extend our repayment schedule.

“Among the proposals that will be submitted is to reduce the monthly payment amount. The federation’s financial situation is also currently deteriorating and there are no financial resources for us,” he said, adding that the suspension had also affected MAHF’s ranking in Asia and South-east Asia.

In the meantime, Pandak said MAHF plans to collaborate with the Johor state government on holding an international invitational tournament involving South-east Asian countries next year.

“The international invitation tournament will be held in conjunction with Visit Johor Year 2022 which will be held at Educity, Iskandar Puteri,” he said.