Kedah right back Azmeer Yusof on Thursday made a surprise statement, announcing his exit from the Super League side.
The ostensible reason provided by him in the social media post was to concentrate on his business enterprises.
When the competitions suspension began due to the global Covid-19 outbreak some months ago, the 30-year old player shifted his focus towards his fish mongering business, which according to him was starting to become profitable.
A post shared by Azmeer Yusof (@azmeer__25) on Apr 17, 2020 at 7:23pm PDT
"This decision was not made because of salary issues, but due to my desire to concentrate my time fully on my business. I apologise if my presence in Kedah was not welcomed. Everything that was good came from Allah, that which was terrible was of my own doing.
"To Kedah fans, keep supporting the team. Without you, football is nothing. Forgive me and I will forever miss your support," the defender wrote on his Facebook page.
During the absence of competitive football in the country, Azmeer has attracted attention for several reasons beside his decision to concentrate on business.
Almost a month ago, he wrote a lengthy reminder for his footballer peers, advising them to secure their financial future and to spend modestly. Earlier this week, he had revealed his plan to establish an Islamic studies centre in Alor Setar, Kedah.
His parting statement on Thursday also included a religious reminder: "For all Muslims, our religion is our responsibility. We must pray five times a day because that is what Allah wants to know of us first in the afterlife.
"To Kedah fans, I may not be a former Kedah player and a Kedah legend, but I am still your friend. Pray that Allah blesses my plan to establish the Azmeer Yusof Islamic Studies Centre in Alor Setar."
He has played Kedah in two stints; in the 2016 season when he won the Malaysia Cup and FA Cup double with them, and 2019 to 2020.
However, although the former Perak, ATM and Kuala Lumpur player explicitly wrote that the Red Eagles' financial issue is not a reason behind his departure, fans will find that hard to believe. Earlier this month, it was reported that Kedah players have not been paid for a staggering four months due to competitions suspension and political developments in the state of Kedah. Like most professional teams in the country, the team is led by the Menteri Besar (chief minister) of the state.