Say What: More twists in store in the FAM soap opera | The Star Online


More twists in store in the FAM soap opera

Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (left) and Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah (left) and Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

PETALING JAYA: A major shake-up is on the cards when the Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) executive committee (exco) hold their meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Monday.

FAM president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and the exco members are said to have agreed to step down en masse.

At least that’s what supposed to happen according to the Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who revealed this in the Southern Tigers’ official website recently.

The exco, it is learnt, may call for an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) by the end of the year instead of waiting until the FAM Congress in 2018 (election year).

The owner of the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) club believes that this would allow for fresh elections to held so that new faces can come in to helm Malaysian football.

So, who will be the new president?

No one has a clue, yet.

The TMJ is not interested in the No. 1 post. He has said so himself.

He prefers an advisory role, instead.

So, does that mean the new president will work hand-in-hand with the TMJ?

Why not?

After all, the TMJ has already done a remarkable job with his club – taking them to new heights, including winning the AFC Cup last year.

Many may not agree with the way he does things, but there is no denying the fact that he gets things done!

The TMJ seems to already have a formula to restructure the set-up of the national body, having outlined his plans for a revamp of the FAM in the Southern Tigers’ official website recently.

He is keen to set his plans in motion to arrest the rapid decline of the national team.

The last couple of years have seen the most popular game in the country hitting an all-time low.

They suffered a humiliating 10-0 thrashing at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifying campaign in Abu Dhabi September last year. It was Malaysia’s worst defeat in 50 years.

Then, a couple of months back, Malaysia’s world ranking dropped to No. 174 – the lowest in our football history and just 30 places away from hitting rock bottom.

The TMJ plans include hiring a foreign coach. So where does that leave national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee?

Kim Swee had been tasked with getting the team ready for the AFF Suzuki Cup (Nov-Dec). But his preparations were rocked when four JDT players, including skipper Safiq Rahim, suddenly retired. But that’s another matter.

What matters now is what’s going to happen on Monday?

The six-million-dollar question is are the exco members ready to step down?

“It’s 50-50,” said one member.

For the TMJ’s grand vision for Malaysian football to be realised, it – the en masse resignation – must take place.

Only then can the TMJ and the new president start to correct all the wrongs that have seen Malaysian football consigned to the doldrums.

Yes, running a club and a national association may be two different ball games, but what have we got to lose?

The last 36 years have brought nothing but one failure after another.

Let’s give a new set of people the chance to turn around the fortunes of Malaysian football.