Exclusive: Sabah FA in hot waters over underqualified signings


The Sabah Football Association could possibly be in a tricky situation after making moves for two underqualified individuals during the off-season.

The Rhinos appointed George O’Callaghan  as their new head coach recently, but it now appears that the appointment could be deemed invalid as O’Callaghan is apparently not a qualified head coach, as per the regulations of the Football Association of Malaysia.


The 35 year-old, who last played for Dover Athletic in England, has never managed or coached a club before, with Sabah FA being his managerial debut. However, reports have now emerged that O’Callaghan has not officially completed his coaching badges, to qualify as a certified coach in the Malaysian Premier League.

But besides that, their capture of Tales Dos Santos is also likely to be rejected by FAM, as the Brazilian defender last played for Phuket FC in the second division of Thai football.


FAM regulations state that any foreign player signed leagues in Asia, must have last been part of the top division of the particular country’s league, meaning that Dos Santos becomes automatically ineligible.

This double blow comes as a shock to fans and players alike, considering that the Rhinos have been feeding rhetorics of wanting to do well. They recently secured the signing of ex-Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf, which was a statement of intent

But this particular controversy could continue to hurt their bid of bouncing back from the fringes of the Premier League and securing promotion back into the Super League