SULTAN of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah was honoured for his contributions in helming the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for three decades, with the publication of a coffee-table book.
The book captures memories of the former FAM president from the time he first took office in 1984 until he handed over the position to his successor, Tengku Mahkota Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, in 2014.
The initiative was undertaken by the Society of Sports and Exercise Medicine Malaysia (SSEMM), which had to defer the 5th World Congress in Sports and Exercise Medicine, to give its full focus to the challenging project.
Society president Datuk Seri Prof Dr Mohamed Mydin Mohd Musa said the Pahang ruler had contributed much to one of his beloved sports – football.
“Under Sultan Ahmad Shah, Malaysia excelled in the international arena as well as on the local front with the introduction of the semi-pro league in 1989 and then, going fully professional several years later.
“Among other high points in Malaysian football under his leadership was the successful hosting of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, the Premier League and Malaysian League since 2004.
“Being a no-nonsense man, FAM was run through strict rules and regulations which saw the players, including those who had retired, well taken care of.
“This book is dedicated to this special person and all those who have sacrificed for the love of Malaysian football,” he said.
Prof Mohamed Mydin said complimentary copies of the hard-cover, which are not for sale, would be distributed to all government agencies, libraries and schools.
He also hoped that Sultan Ahmad Shah’s unrivalled legacy in the field of sports would be continued by his successors.
In addition to being FAM president, Sultan Ahmad Shah was also president of the Asian Football Confederation from Aug 1, 1994 to Aug 1, 2002.
At present, he is president of the Asean Football Federation, a position he has held since April 10, 2011 as winning a second term uncontested in August last year.
Accompanying Sultan Ahmad Shah to unveil the coffee-table book at the Royale Chulan Hotel Kuala Lumpur were his consort Sultanah Pahang Sultanah Kalsom, Tengku Arif Temenggong Pahang Tengku Fahd Mua’adzam Sultan Ahmad Shah and members of the Pahang royal family.
Also present were businessmen Datuk Seri Chong Chin Fung and Datuk Neoh Soo Keat, SSEMM top office-bearers and foreign medical consultants from 13 countries.
During the event, Sultan Ahmad Shah also celebrated his 86th birthday with the cutting of a cake and presentation of a special birthday gift to the royal couple.
Guests were entertained by cultural dances and a band performance by the Royal Malaysian Police combo.
Last year, SSEMM accorded the Royal Legend of Football award to Sultan Ahmad Shah during its 4th World Congress in Kuala Lumpur, in recognition of his untiring devotion and contribution towards the development of football. He was also made a Royal Fellow of the society.
Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak – is the society’s patron.