Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim answering questions during the unveiling of his team's two new import players in Larkin on Sunday. - BERNAMA
JOHOR BARU: Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim believes that hidden hands within the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) would prevent him from becoming their president.
Tunku Ismail is challenging incumbent Sultan Ahmad Shah and Tengku Abdullah for the post at the FAM Congress on May 25.
Tunku Ismail, who is also the Johor Crown Prince, said it was an open secret that Sultan Ahmad wanted his son Tengku Abdullah to succeed him.
He admitted his inexperience was a big drawback, but it should not set him apart from the two contestants.
“I am aggressive as I want to see football grow in the country. Look at what I have done within two years as Johor FA president and see what had the FAM done in the last 30 years.
“There are several quarters within the FAM that do not want changes. If I become the next president, then these people will be thrown out from the association,” said Tunku Ismail after introducing the two Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) new foreign players (Brazilian defender Marcos Santos and Argentinian striker Jorge Diaz) at the Larkin Stadium here on Sunday.
When asked if he would pull out from the race or attend the FAM Congress, Tunku Ismail replied he would wait and see.
He, however, added that the growth of football in the country has stagnated and hoped that whoever becomes the next FAM president would have the will to change it.
“Football facilities throughout the country are worse off now. While the state FAs are responsible for it, the FAM should oversee it.
“The standard of refereeing in Malaysian football has also not improved. I love the sport and I want to see it progress in our country and the FAM should listen to the voice of the rakyat,” said Tunku Ismail.