KUALA LUMPUR: The Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, has resigned as deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) with immediate effect.
“It is with deep regret that I would like to inform you that I have decided to resign from all my positions in the FAM effective today,” he said yesterday in a letter signed by his personal secretary, Datuk Zainal Abidin Abu Bakar.
A copy of the letter, which was addressed to FAM secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad that was dated yesterday, was faxed to Bernama.
In the three-paragraph letter, bearing the letterhead of Shahzan House (Property Management) Sdn Bhd, Tengku Abdullah thanked Ibrahim and FAM staff for supporting him during his tenure as deputy president.
Although Tengku Abdullah did not give any reason for his resignation, his decision to quit from all posts in FAM is seen as move to fulfil the requests of football fans that the present FAM leadership make way for new blood, which could bring changes to the local football scene.
Malaysia has had a dismal outing in the ongoing Asian Cup, which the country is co-hosting.
The national squad was trounced 1-5 by China in the Group C opening match on Tuesday. On Saturday, it was whipped 0-5 by Uzbekistan.
Tengku Abdullah had on Wednesday apologised to Malaysian soccer fans for the team’s dismal showing.
“If possible, I would want to personally apologise and shake hands with every spectator who was at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil during the matches,” he had said.
Tengku Abdullah, who was first appointed FAM deputy president in February 1992, resigned from the post a year later on March 12, 1993. He also quit as FAM technical committee chairman.
He was, however, re-elected to the FAM deputy presidency in February 1994.
Dr Ibrahim could not be contacted because he is abroad.
Reacting to Tengku Abdullah's resignation, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman said he alone was not responsible for the state the game is in and Malaysia’s defeats in the Asian Cup.
“It is a collective responsibility.
“We are losing a capable sports leader but I believe that he has made the decision after a great deal of thought. I hope something positive will come out of it.”