TMJ hits back at fans' boycott threat

Tunku Ismail Idris Sultan Ibrahim is disappointed with the fans for

PETALING JAYA: Johor Football Association (JFA) president Tunku Ismail Idris Sultan Ibrahim has slammed the boycott threat issued by the fans from the state.

The fans of Super League side Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are unhappy with the management’s decision to replace head coach Cesar Jiminez and drop fan favourites – Singaporean Baihakki Khaizan and Argentine Pablo Aimar – from the team.

The Southern Tigers have secured Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio Elias Santos in the second transfer window to replace Baihakki. There is also speculation that Argentinian Diego Mario Buonanotte may be signed from La Liga side Granada to replace Aimar.

Tunku Ismail said on Sunday he was disappointed with the fans for “jumping to conclusions without knowing the actual true facts”. 

“I would gladly make way for anyone that you believe is capable of serving as the Johor FA president,” said Tunku Ismail in a release posted on the Johor Southern Tigers’ official Facebook page on Sunday.

He added that the constant change in foreign players was due to the requests made by the coach.

“It’s the management’s duty to support the coach’s request in order for the team to achieve their target.

“Jiminez is a fantastic coach, but there was a language barrier. The decision to change Baihakki and Aimar was made by Jiminez and I when he was still head coach,” said Tunku Ismail.

“The appointment of Bojan Hodak as coach is based entirely on merit. He is a highly decorated coach and has vast experience in Malaysian football.” 

JDT are now third in the Super League standings with 25 points after 14 matches, trailing leaders Pahang by three points after the coaching shake-up.

“We must appreciate and should be thankful with the team we have now. We have enjoyed three consecutive wins and still have a chance to fight for the title,” said Tunku Ismail.
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