Sabah FA

Full name Sabah Football Association
Persatuan Bola Sepak Sabah
Nickname(s) Sang Badak
Founded 1963 (1963)
Ground Likas Stadium
Ground Capacity 35,000[1]
Chairman Musa Aman
Manager Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan
Coach Steve Vilmiaire
League Malaysia Premier League
2016 Malaysia Premier League, 9th
Website Club home page

Sabah FA (Malay: Persatuan Bolasepak Sabah) is a football club 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 35,000 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 Football Association (Sabah FA). Sabah qualify into the Malaysia Cup for the first time in 1977 and enter the competition in 1978.

Amateur and Semi-pro Era

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

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. Justin Ganai retained as Head Coach for the 2012 MSL season but step down as the league game were 2 games left. Sabah also relegated back to Malaysia Premier League after lose to Kedah in play-off match by which Pahang (was MPL side) won the play-off. Salt was added to the wound as the relegation was followed by them failing to qualify to the group stage of the 2012 Malaysia Cup.

Sabah started their 2013 season back in Malaysia Premier League (2nd tier) as their main defenders, Sipitang duo Ronny Harun and Mafry Ballang left for Borneo rival, Sarawak FA and young striker Rozaimi Abdul Rahman was loaned out to Harimau Muda A. 2013 season was led by Northern Irishman, David McCreery and they end up in 5th place but still available for Malaysia Cup play-off by which they lose heavily 4–0 to Negeri Sembilan at Shah Alam Stadium. McCreery left at the end of the season with disappointment.

2014 saw major changes in the team's sponsorship by which local brand Carino was signed as their kit supplier and Ararat Sports plus BSA as their sponsors. During this season, Sabah ex-player and also a legend in 90's, Milomir Seslija become their Head Coach replacing McCreery in the hot seat. National striker, Rozaimi and winger/midfielder Maxsius Musa also returned after their loan to Harimau Muda A and Harimau Muda B respectively finished. But to no avail, they finished 8th out of 12 in the MPL, missed the Malaysia Cup group stage for third consecutive seasons and also kicked out from FA Cup in the early stage. This was worser than the 2013 season. Milomir's contract was not renewed at the end of the season.

Dioufmania and TC Goh came back as manager (2015)

Just after 2014 season finished, another major changes was made by which George O'Callaghan was signed as their Technical Director and Justin Ganai is back as temporary head coach. Dato' TC Goh also came as team manager by which he and O'Callaghan makes a big signings. Carino remained as their kit supplier but only for the women team, futsal team, President Cup and U19 team. Adidas, Globaltech, UZMA, Grace One, BSA and Ararat Sports are their current sponsors. Sabah FA successfully signed twice African Player of The Year, El-Hadji Diouf and his compatriot Abdoulaye Faye followed by Liberian, Eamond Zayed plus Singaporean striker Fazrul Nawas. Fazrul and O'Callaghan were released early in the season few weeks before MPL kick off. Fazrul was replaced with Joel Chianese during the mid-season transfer window in April and O'Callaghan was replaced with Brisbane Roar ex-head coach Mike Mulvey in February 2015. Both Mulvey and Chianese are Australian. After 3 games working as Technical Director, Mike Mulvey was appointed as Sabah FA new head coach as Justin Ganai went back to the President Cup team. During this current season, fans began to fill and flood Likas Stadium as few of their home matches were full house. But as the seasons passing by, Sabah FA lose mostly of their matches during the second half of the season. Diouf's problem along with his dismissal during few of Sabah's matches thus allowing youngster Leopold and Rawilson respectively to skip the team. Promising start of 2015 season end with huge disappointment for the team as they sit at 7th place, missing Malaysia Cup automatic slot and also the play-off. CEO, TC Goh, Mike Mulvey and big name players such as Diouf, Zayed, Faye and Chianese plus local golden boy, Rozaimi Abdul Rahman left at the end of the season due to no contract renewal.


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 is only used sometimes for the Malaysia Premier League.


Season Kit manufacturer Shirt sponsor
2005 Line 7 TM
2005-06 TM Net
2006-07 TM
2007-08 Celcom
2009 Streamyx
2010 Carino TM
2011 Adidas None
2013 Graceone
2014 Carino BSA
2015 Adidas Globaltec
2016 Sabah Energy & Asian Supply Base

Club culture



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

Club records

Update on 29 October 2016.


  1st or Champions   2nd or Runner-up   3rd place   Promotion   Relegation

Season League Cup Asia
Division Pld W D L F A D Pts Pos Charity Malaysia FA Competition Result
1995 Premier League 28 13 5 10 60 45 +15 44 5th Semi-finals Champions Asian Cup Winners' Cup Round of 16
1996 Premier League 28 17 7 4 49 21 +28 58 1st Runner-up Runner-up Quarter-finals
1997 Premier League 28 14 7 7 42 28 +14 49 3rd Group stage 2nd round
1998 Premier 1 22 8 7 7 22 26 -4 31 5th Semi-finals Runner-up
1999 Premier 1 18 6 7[lower-alpha 1] 5 20 20 +0 29 4th Group stage Semi-finals
2000 Premier 1 22 4 4 14 22 41 -19 16 11th Group stage 1st round
2001 Premier 2 22 14 3 5 41 22 +19 45 2nd Group stage Semi-finals
2002 Premier 1 26 13 8 5 48 30 +18 47 3rd Runner-up Quarter-finals
2003 Premier 1 24 10 8 6 34 22 +12 38 4th Runner-up Semi-finals
2004 Super League 21 4 5 12 22 35 -13 17 6th Semi-finals Quarter-finals
2005 Super League 21 6 4 11 25 39 -14 22 8th Group stage Quarter-finals
2005–06 Premier League 21 7 7 7 32 31 +1 28 4th Group stage 1st round
2006–07 Premier League 20 6 9 5 26 21 +5 27 5th Semi-finals Quarter-finals
2007–08 Premier League 24 13 5 6 48 27 +21 44 4th Group stage Quarter-finals
2009 Premier League 24 5 7 12 18 31 -13 22 9th Group stage 1st round
2010 Premier League 22 15 3 4 42 14 +28 48 2nd Group stage 1st round
2011 Super League 26 7 7 12 24 32 -8 28 10th Quarter-finals 1st round
2012 Super League 26 7 7 12 33 52 -19 28 13th Not qualified 1st round
2013 Premier League 22 9 3 10 42 46 -4 30 5th Not qualified 2nd round
2014 Premier League 22 6 6 10 21 30 -9 24 7th Not qualified 2nd round
2015 Premier League 22 8 3 11 37 42 -5 27 7th Not qualified 1st round
2016 Premier League 22 5 5 12 26 41 -15 20 9th Not qualified 3rd round
2017 Premier League


  1. Draw were followed by penalty shootouts for an additional point.

Performances In The Regional Tournaments

1995: Round of 16


First team squad

No. Name Nationality Position D.O.B
22 Aldrian J. Agus Malaysia GK 31/10/94
30 Rozaimie Rohim Malaysia GK 6/11/84
55 Robson Rendy Rining Malaysia GK 5/3/93
2 Alto Linus (C) Malaysia RB,RWB,RM, RW, LB,LWB,LM, LW 25/9/86
3 Rawilson Batuil Malaysia CB,SW, DM 29/4/94
4 Dendy Lowa Malaysia CB, RB 31/5/92
5 Igor Cerina Croatia CB,SW 10/10/88
12 Julamri Muhammad Malaysia LB,LWB,LM 18/10/85
13 Mohd Badrul Afendy Mohd Fadzli Malaysia CB 21/9/93
14 Jenius Karib Malaysia CB,RB,LB,DM 27/3/93
7 Rexjeson Pitrus Malaysia RM, RW 26/4/92
8 Azzizan Nordin Malaysia CM, DM 3/7/94
10 Everton Souza Santos Brazil AM, LW,RW,ST 2/4/84
11 Dedi Kusnandar Indonesia CM,AM 23/7/91
18 Shafuan Adli Shaari Malaysia CM 11/12/85
19 Ummareng Bacok Malaysia RM,LM, RW,LW, ST 7/6/94
20 Ricco Nigel Milus Malaysia DM, CB 21/12/93
21 Radzi Mohd Hussin Malaysia CM 12/6/86
27 Felexsius Amil Malaysia CM,AM 26/5/90
29 Muhammad Azrie Basalie Malaysia LM,LW 8/6/88
9 Shafie Talib Malaysia ST 31/1/94
16 Stuart Wark MalaysiaScotland ST,RW, AM,CM 31/8/89
17 Leopold Alphonso Malaysia ST,AM, RW,LW,RM,RWB 9/6/91
23 Maxsius Musa Malaysia ST, RW,LW, RM, 21/5/93
24 Muamer Salibašić Bosnia and Herzegovina ST,AM,LW 3/12/84
28 Mohd Azwan Abdul Fattah Malaysia RW,LW, ST 8/1/94


For recent transfers, see List of Malaysian football transfers 2016 and List of Malaysian football transfers summer 2016


Pos. Name From
Nigeria Prince Nnake Egypt Alassiouty Sport
Indonesia Dedi Kusnandar Indonesia Persib Bandung
Croatia Igor Cerina Singapore Balestier Khalsa
Malaysia Muhd Nazri Ahmad Malaysia Kelantan FA
Malaysia Rexjeson Pitrus Malaysia Malacca United S.A.
Malaysia Fadzley Abdul Rahim Malaysia Sarawak FA
Malaysia Radzi Mohd Hussin Malaysia University Malaysia Sabah F.C.
Malaysia Rozaimi Rohim Malaysia Young Fighters F.C.
Malaysia Azzizan Nordin Malaysia Sabah FA U21
Malaysia Rawilson Batuil Malaysia Sabah FA U21
Malaysia Mohd Azwan Abd Fattah Malaysia Sabah FA U21
Malaysia Ummareng Bacok Malaysia Sabah FA U21
Malaysia Aldrian Agus Malaysia Open Trial
Malaysia Dendy Lowa Malaysia Open Trial
Malaysia Flexsius Amil Malaysia Open Trial
Malaysia Muhammad Azrie Basalie Malaysia Open Trial
Malaysia Ricco Nigel Milus Malaysia Open Trial
Malaysia Shafie Talib Malaysia Open Trial
Brazil Marco Tulio  


Pos. Name To
Libya Éamon Zayed United States Indy Eleven
Australia Joel Chianese Malaysia Negeri Sembilan FA
Malaysia Didie Arizal Ibrahim Malaysia AirAsia F.C.
Malaysia R. Surendran Malaysia Ipoh FA
Malaysia Mohd Fazli Paat Malaysia Johor Darul Ta'zim II F.C.
Malaysia Rozaimi Abdul Rahman Malaysia Johor Darul Ta'zim II F.C.
Malaysia Endre S. Tipay Malaysia KDMM F.C.
Malaysia Rosdin Wasli Malaysia KDMM F.C.
Malaysia Zuraindey Jumai Malaysia KDMM F.C.
Malaysia Faizol Nazlin Sayuti Malaysia Kelantan FA (loan return)
Malaysia Mohd Rozaimi Azwar Mat Noor Malaysia Kelantan FA (loan return)
Malaysia Hardy Charles Parsi
Malaysia Muhammad Shafiq Jamal Malaysia PDRM FA
Malaysia Mohd Ezaidy Khadar Malaysia Perlis FA
Malaysia Mohd Khairi Kiman Malaysia Perlis FA
Senegal Abdoulaye Faye
Senegal El Hadji Diouf
Malaysia Muhd Izuan Salahuddin Malaysia PDRM FA
Malaysia Irwan Jamil RETIRED

Season 2016 President's Cup team

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

Sabah President's Cup Squad

No. Name Nationality Position D.O.B
Presley Lim Chin Fong Malaysia GK 26/2/96
Masran Masri Malaysia GK 18/2/96
Mohd Sakri Masri Malaysia GK 5/8/97
Tekson Tubeng Malaysia GK 14/6/96
Ahmad Sabri Ahmadurayah Malaysia RB,RWB 11/7/95
Nur Sidie Nordin Malaysia CB 1996
Mohd Zulfadlisham Roseland Malaysia RB,RWB 13/9/95
Randy Baruh Samson Malaysia LB,LWB 19/6/95
Mohd Ikhmal Akid Bahari Malaysia LB, LM,LW 28/7/95
Rexsye Roland Tamin Malaysia CB 9/12/96
Mohd Abdah Awang Malaysia CB 1996
Masmilan Anil Matlan Malaysia CB 15/7/96
Rickson Pang Tabias Malaysia CB 30/11/96
Shahzirin Sidin Malaysia CB,DM 30/5/96
O'Neil Shanahan Marcellinus Bungkilan Malaysia LM, LW, ST 4/2/96
Dexy Mildy Juanis Malaysia CM 12/12/96
Saliun Mastar Malaysia AMC,CM 14/10/95
Malik Jukup Malaysia RM, RW 26/5/96
Devid Ansarui Malaysia RM, RW, LM, LW 28/2/96
Mohd Azmizan Ruslih Malaysia CM 1/7/98
Mohd Zaki Sapri Malaysia CM 29/1/97
Mohd Juraidi Lijas Malaysia LM, LW 1996
Fazriel Hanafi Stepanus Malaysia AMC,CM 15/5/96
Mohd Radzi Saad Malaysia DM,CM 1997
Mohd Afiq Mustaqim Mazlan Malaysia ST 1995
Klismon Aribulan Malaysia ST 1995
Shakoy Jusit Malaysia ST 2/2/96
Rahman Shah Marajeh Malaysia ST 10/7/96
Mohd Fuad Amin Madlan Malaysia ST 1996

Source:[11] Source:[12]

U19 team

No. Name Nationality Position D.O.B
1 Izan Rifaa Sasari Malaysia GK 1997
18 Renoyston Tony Malaysia GK 1997
25 Mazlan Norli Malaysia GK 29/4/97
2 Prosper George Malaysia RB,RWB 1998
3 Kelvin Pengiran Malaysia LB,LWB 28/10/98
4 Jeniun Karib Malaysia CB 29/1/98
5 Mohd Aidil Zuhri Mursidin Malaysia CB 1997
8 Mohd Azren Lamdin Malaysia CB 1997
13 Evan Wensley Wenceslaus Malaysia LB,LWB 1998
14 Maldini Harun Malaysia CB 1997
19 Mohd Sollehudin Akmad Malaysia CB 18/4/97
21 Ranilson Batuil Malaysia CB 21/11/97
22 Mohd Suzairee Samail Malaysia RB,RWB 26/1/98
26 Sullan Elvis Noh Malaysia RB,RWB 1997
29 Pican Piok Malaysia CB 1998
6 Leonardo Lisua Malaysia CM,DM 1999
9 Mac Drint Manus Malaysia DM,CM 10/7/98
11 Mohd Aidil Shahrolmizan Asimin Malaysia LM, LW 23/2/98
15 Mohd Nur Khairuddin Herlambang Malaysia RM, RW 1997
20 Fazrian Shah Azri Malaysia RM, RW, LM, LW 18/6/97
23 Yussedy Yusman Malaysia AM,CM 11/2/97
24 Mohd Ramzainee Ramlee Malaysia CM 24/7/97
28 Adi Ali Malaysia AM, CM 3/4/98
30 Mohd Aidil Safee Malaysia LM, LW 30/1/98
7 Stanley Sulong Malaysia ST 18/2/97
10 Hamran Peter Malaysia ST 6/6/97
12 Mohd Shah Mizie Abdul Rahim Malaysia ST 1998
16 Ariusdius Jais Malaysia ST 7/7/98
17 Mohd Shariman Mukarim Malaysia ST 1998
27 Ellend Child Henry Malaysia ST 1998

Source:[13] Source:[14]

Current coaching staff

Position Name
Chairman Malaysia Datuk Seri Musa Aman
Deputy chairman 1 Malaysia Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan
Deputy chairman 2 Malaysia Lawrence Gimbang
C.E.O Malaysia Datuk Goh Thian Chuan
Manager Malaysia Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan
Asst. Manager 1 Malaysia Hassan Sani
Asst. Manager 2 Malaysia James Wong
Technical Director France Adlane Messelem
Head Coach France Steve Vilmiaire
Asst. Coach Malaysia Johnny Dominicus
Coach Malaysia Razali Zinin
GK coach Malaysia Mark Damun Sagar
Fitness coach Malaysia
Physio Malaysia Matlan Basir
Head of Youth Development Malaysia R. Gopalkrishnan
U21 Manager Malaysia Datuk Juil Nuatim
U21 Head coach Malaysia Justin Ganai
U21 Asst. coach Malaysia Burhan Ajui
U21 coach Malaysia Matasan Ahmad
U21 GK coach Malaysia Francis Sanga
U21 Fitness coach Malaysia Rozlee Idris
U21 Physio Malaysia Halmond Ting
U19 Manager Malaysia Mohd Yassin Aman
U19 Head coach Malaysia Jelius Ating
U19 Asst. coach Malaysia Awang Sabtu Jamil
U19 GK coach Malaysia Jasrin Jabidin
U19 Fitness coach Malaysia Awang Jasrie Awang Matusin
U19 Physio Malaysia Pressley Bily
Massuer Malaysia Mr. Hu
Kitman Malaysia Anizam Zainudin

Managers and coaches


  • Malaysia Goh Thian Chuan (1999)
  • Malaysia Osman Jamal (2000–2001)
  • Malaysia Mohd Joehari Mohd Ayub (2004–2005)
  • Malaysia Abdul Rahman Zakaria (2006–2009)
  • Malaysia Mohd Asyraaf Fong Abdullah (2009)

  • Australia Gary Phillips (2010–2011)
  • Malaysia Shahriman Abdullah (2011–2012)
  • Malaysia Alijus Sipil (2013–2014)
  • Malaysia Abdul Rahman Zakaria (2014)
  • Malaysia Goh Thian Chuan (2015)


Former notable players

Players that represented the Malaysia national football team while playing for Sabah.

Football Clubs

Affiliated Clubs within the Association

Affiliated Clubs outside the Association


  1. "Football stadiums of the world – Stadiums in Asia - Football stadiums of the world". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  2. "Rhinos Online : Malaysia Premier League 1996". Archived from the original on 25 October 2009. Retrieved 2016-06-21.
  3. "EnglandFC 1990 to 1995". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  4. "Malaysia 2001". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  5. Nang Nanana (29 June 2007). "Amri Yahyah Golden Boy". Retrieved 21 June 2016 via YouTube.
  6. "SABAHHAWKS – Sabah Rhinos". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  7. "Sabah is now known as Sabahawks – Sabah Rhinos". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  8. "Diouf flies in for Sabah trials". Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  11. "Sabah U21 2016". Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  12. "Sabah FA U21 2016". Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  13. "Sabah U19 2016". Retrieved 29 January 2016.
  14. "25 PEMAIN MUDA GALAS TUGAS SABAH DI MELAKA". sabahfa. Retrieved 30 July 2014.

External links

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