FAM: Let common sense prevail

FAM deputy president Datuk Seri Affandy Hamzah (right) before chairing the meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

PETALING JAYA: Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) vice-president Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan wants common sense to prevail.

He said that calls for the resignation of all FAM executive committee members would not solve anything.

“We take collective responsibility for what has happened, but we need to keep moving forward,” he said, referring to calls for the committee members to step down over the national team’s 10-0 pasting by the United Arab Emirates and the crowd disturbance at the Shah Alam Stadium.

“We will meet the (Youth and Sports) minister (Khairy Jamaluddin) ... co-operation from the government is important, but their intervention is not the answer because it will force FIFA to sanction us.” 

He said this after the FAM executive committee meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Friday.

The defeat by UAE, the worst-ever in Malaysian football history, came in a World Cup qualifying Asian Zone Group A match in Abu Dhabi on Sept 3. Coach Dollah Salleh quit a day after the defeat and Datuk Ong Kim Swee was made interim coach.

On Monday, FAM president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah announced his intention to “quit in stages”.

The next day, an unruly group of fans threw fireworks, flares and smoke bombs to disrupt Malaysia’s match against Saudi Arabia at the Shah Alam Stadium. The chaos caused the match to be abandoned after 88 minutes, with Saudi leading 2-1.

The Sports Commissioner has issued FAM with a show cause letter, asking for explanation into the crowd trouble. Sports Commissioner Datuk Zaiton Othman has threatened FAM with de-registration or suspension if their answer on the stadium fiasco is not satisfactory.

This could lead to FIFA stepping in and suspending Malaysia from international football as the world body do not take lightly to government interference.

FIFA have also issued FAM with a show cause letter over the stadium mayhem.

“We are preparing the replies to FIFA and the Sports Commissioner,” said FAM deputy president Datuk Seri Affandy Hamzah at a press conference after chairing the exco meeting.
“We are all upset with what happened and we’ll send a letter to the Saudi Arabian embassy to apologise. In the meeting today, we discussed what actions need to be taken (to improve the security situation).

“We will ask the task force to discuss (issues regarding) youth development, local league, FAM management, national team and the Harimau Muda squad. We also asked the security committee to hold a meeting soon and draw up measures to improve security at all the stadiums.”

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