PETALING JAYA: Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has dropped a bombshell by claiming that the executive council members and the president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have agreed to step down.
He went on to claim that new elections will be held and that new faces will be helming Malaysian football.
The owner of the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) club said this when he outlined his plan for a revamp of the FAM in the Southern Tigers’ official website on Friday. Earlier, on Thursday, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had met up with the FAM exco members in Putrajaya to discuss the future of the national football body.
If what he claims is true, then Aug 15 could very well be a watershed moment in the history of Malaysian football.
That’s the day the executive committee meeting is scheduled to be held. And if true, then that is the day they will all decide to step down.
That will leave the way clear for Tunku Ismail to put his plan into effect, including overhauling the set-up in the FAM, checking the rot in the system and arresting the dwindling standards of the national team in a bid to “do the right thing”.
FAM president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected to the hot seat in 2014 after winning 27 votes, beating Tunku Ismail, who garnered 12 votes, in two-way contest at the FAM Congress.
The last couple of years have seen the game hitting an all-time low, with the national team twice going into the history books for the wrong reasons.
First, they suffered a humiliating 10-0 thrashing at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the 2018 World Cup Asian qualifying campaign in Abu Dhabi September last year. It was Malaysia’s worst defeat in 50 years.
Then, a couple of months back, Malaysia’s world ranking dropped to No. 174 – the lowest in our football history and just 30 places away from hitting rock bottom.
Actually, Malaysian football has been in the doldrums for the last 36 years.
More than three decades have passed since Malaysian football reached its zenith – when the Soh Chin Aun-led Harimau Malaya qualified for the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
Those days are but a distant memory.
So, here we have Tunku Ismail daring to take the lead to repair the damage.
And he’s clearly stated that the first step towards changing all that’s wrong in FAM will be revealed on Aug 15.
Stay tuned ...
Here is TMJ’s plans to turn around Malaysian football as posted on his Southern Tigers website
“AS many of you have heard, I’ve recently been approached by Khairy Jamaluddin (Youth and Sports Minister) and Datuk Seri Norza Zakaria (FAM treasurer) regarding FAM. Among the topics discussed was, chairman of the national team, the congress head of Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) and the presidency of FAM. Datuk Seri Norza mentioned to me that he would like me to be hands on all of them. Well I had my own suggestions and I would like to share them with all of you.
1. The FAM president should not have come from the royal family, must have no affiliation with any state FAs’ or participating clubs. He must also be someone who is neutral to all states and participating clubs.
This is purely to avoid corruption and favouritism.
2. The referees must have a ‘Referees Association’ from an independent body, funded by the government so that they will be well paid as referees overseas. This is to eradicate any form of favouritism and avoid any hidden hands from top FAM officials influencing them.
3. The FAM president and existing exco must go! The new exco members must be able to contribute and work in the best interest of football. If they can’t, then they should step down and make way for those who can.
4. FAM must be very transparent in their plans and fans must be allowed to address their questions and queries to FAM once in a while. The fans deserve to know what is going on in FAM and be kept in the loop on the aims and direction FAM is heading towards.
5. As for the national team, we need to employ a foreign coach. A coach with good background, achievements and track record. He must also have the experience in coaching a club or national team. The coach must be allowed to bring his own team and implement whatever he has planned. Most importantly, he must be given time to make these changes. FAM has not progressed much over the last 30 years and I believe it’s only right for us to give any new coach the appropriate space and time they need.
6. The exco meetings must be held and rotated in every state in the country.
7. All teams must have its own stadium and training centre that will be maintained by the club.
Lately Khairy has proposed that I take up the job as FAM President. I do not agree to me being the president of FAM because I have JDT. There will be a conflict of interest as I will be biased towards my state. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we need to find someone who’s not affiliated to any state FAs’ or participating clubs.
As far as the offer for chairman or advisor of the national team and the head of congress for FMLLP is concerned, I will wait to meet Khairy and Norza again before making my decision. Khairy has given me his formula, and I’ve presented mine. Thus, I will have to discuss with him further on these matters.
For football fans across the nation, my action proves that two things which are facts. One is I’m not selfish, manipulative, and corrupt, because if I was I would have already accepted the offer to be the president by now.
Secondly, FAM is controlled by a group of people and a system that controls Malaysian football with corruption. No one was able to change FAM for 30 over years. Then one day a young man who loves football came along and took over his beloved state team. A man who realised that the only way to change Malaysian football was to change the system.
This young man had to fight with the FAM’s system, politicians, Malaysian ignorant football fans, media and social media, as well as people who only knew how to talk but refuse to change the system.
Today the exco have agreed to retire together with the president. New elections and new faces will be handling Malaysian football. Foreign expertise will be brought in to improve the system and today I’m proud to say that a young man who genuinely loves football with big dreams and was once even called “budak mentah” defeated the 30 years regime of FAM.
I have said it before, I will destroy what they build from inside and build a better one (By the way, I got that from a secret society not from the movie X-Men Haha.. ).
Anyway I would like to thank my black ops training for making me the man I am today. To Malaysian football fans, it’s been an honour doing you this favour ... You’re welcome.”
HRH Brigadier General Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, Crown Prince of Johor
Hidup Johor Demi Johor!