Status quo for FAM top post

FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah pointing to one of the new cars which was presented by DRB-Hicom to the football association on Thursday. Sultan Ahmad remains unchallenged for the top post in the upcoming FAM Congress on May 25. - BERNAMA

PETALING JAYA: There will be no change in the status quo of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) hierarchy when they hold their congress-cum-elections next month.

It seems like there is no truth to all that talk about a major reshuffle in FAM as well as rumours of incumbent president Sultan Ahmad Shah planning to step down due to health reasons or being challenged in a three-cornered fight for the first time in his 30-year reign.

Judging by the 84-year-old Pahang Sultan’s body language at a press conference on Thursday, he is set to hold on to the president’s post for another term – his 15th – when the 50th FAM Congress is held on May 25.

“Wait and see ...,” was how Sultan Ahmad responded when asked about the nominations for the president’s post after receiving two cars, sponsored by DRB-Hicom Berhad, at Istana Hinggap Pahang in Kuala Lumpur.

The two cars will be used by FAM for official matters.

It was reported that Sultan Ahmad, deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had been nominated for the president’s post.

There are also 10 nominees for the two deputy presidents’ posts, 17 nominees for the two vice-presidents’ posts, 35 for the eight executive committee seats and 11 for the two newly-created women’s executive committee positions.

As far as Sultan Ahmad is concerned, he welcomes the competition for the No. 1 spot.

“This world is full of challenges. It is a free country. I have nothing against those who want to contest against me for the president’s post. It’s normal. Those who wish to take me on ... please do so,” said a confident Sultan Ahmad.

“I will announce my decision at the exco meeting later this month (April 19). I don’t want to rush. Until such time ... I’m still the president. People have been critical of FAM. Nobody is perfect ... we are servants of God. Believe me, it takes time to raise the profile of the game.

“It does not matter whether I’m there or not ... the show will go on with or without me.”

The Sultan, who has headed FAM since 1984, also spoke about the new FAM Sports Complex, which will be situated on a six-acre land in Putrajaya.

The complex, the brainchild of the Sultan, is expected to be the new FAM headquarters.

It will also house a football academy and be equipped with several playing fields.

The Sultan said that the relocation of the FAM headquarters from Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya to Putrajaya will be carried out over the next two years.

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