This was unanimously decided by the affiliates at the FAM’s 49th Congress on Saturday.
This is certainly good news for football officials and coaches in the country as there will now be more room for them to express constructive criticisms on ways to arrest the falling standard of Malaysian football without fear of being hauled up by FAM.
But how much leniency will be accorded to them is still uncertain.
Under the previous Article 88, only the FAM president and secretary-general were allowed to talk to the media on policy matters in the country.
Last March, national coach Datuk K. Rajagopal almost got himself in trouble after lamenting on the lack of local strikers in the M-League following a 4-1 defeat by Saudi Arabia in friendly.
FAM Rules and Regulations Committee chairman Datuk Affandi Hamzah said that the Congress had endorsed the amendments to Article 88 and that a guideline would be presented to the affiliates in the exco meeting.
The Congress was opened by FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah of Pahang. Also present were FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.
“The amendments to Article 88 will give the coaches and officials leeway to comment within their jurisdictions,” said Affandi, who is also FAM’s vice-president.
“For example, a committee chairman can give comments about his department while coaches are permitted to speak about matters pertaining to their team.
“The Rules and Regulations Committee have drafted the guidelines and it will be communicated to the affiliates soon, pending approval from the Executive Committee.”
The Congress also approved amendments to Article 68, which disallows any affiliate or player from pursuing legal action concerning football in the country directly to the courts.
Meanwhile, the Congress also approved a proposal to move FAM’s headquarters from Kelana Jaya to Putrajaya.
Hamidin said that a 19-acre site had been identified in the federal administrative capital for FAM’s building there as well as that of the Asean Football Federation.
The mega project is expected to be completed in three years.
“We hope that once the two builings are completed, Malaysia can be a football hub in Asia,” said Hamidin.