Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah has been nominated for the Football Association of Malaysia's president's post. – Bernama Photo
PETALING JAYA: Sultan Ahmad Shah will reveal reveal on Saturday whether he will defend the president’s post at next month’s Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) congress-cum-election.
So far, his son and incumbent deputy president Tengku Abdullah and Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim have been nominated for the post.
And the 83-year-old Sultan of Pahang is set to make his decision known at the exco meeting at Wisma FAM on Saturday.
Many believe that the Sultan will step down and pass the baton to his son, the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, who is also the president of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC).
But, then again, there is a possibility that the Sultan, who has been at the helm since 1984, will remain for another term to see through some unfinished projects, which include the relocation of the FAM headquarters from Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya to Putrajaya over the next two years.
Whatever happens, and whoever takes charge, will there be a better future for Malaysian football?
Malaysian football has gone through various permutations – from the introduction of the Semi-Pro (1989) to Full-Pro (1994) and the Malaysian Super League (since 2004).
Yet, our standards are way below that of Asian giants South Korea and Japan.
What the exco should do is look at how to raise the profile of the game in the country, the Malaysian Super League (MSL) and ways to complement the national team.
Much has been said about privatisation. But when will it come to fruition? Will our football teams ever feature in the Asian Champions League?
FAM had set up football academies nationwide, launched “one-touch” football programmes for kids all over the country. What happened to all these initiatives? Why did they fail?
Are the affiliates even alive? Where are the state leagues?
Perhaps, the exco should conduct a post-mortem to find out what continues to ail the game and what has gone wrong in the last three decades.
Malaysian football has been in the doldrums long enough. Let’s hope that whoever is at the helm come May 25 will have the dream, desire and design to take Malaysian football back to where it belongs.