KUALA LUMPUR: The race for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president’s post has taken a new twist.
Four men – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, former Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa and FAM Integrity Committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat – have been nominated for the top job.
The election of the new executive committee for the 2017-2021 term will be held on March 25 at FAM’s 53rd annual congress. The nominations closed on Jan 23 and the final nomination list will be announced on Feb 20.
On Wednesday, Khairy pledged to withdraw from the contest if Tunku Ismail would stand for election for the top post.
Yesterday, however, Khairy said that he is considering the advice of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to withdraw from contesting for the hot seat.
“Definitely, the Deputy Prime Minister as my boss, I would certainly consider his advice. I just need to confirm whether to contest or not within two weeks,” he said after giving a speech at an orientation programme for new students of the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) yesterday.
According to media reports, Zahid had advised Khairy not to seek or accept the nomination to run for the national footballing body’s presidency.
Zahid said that Khairy should instead focus on his ministerial portfolio and give attention to all sports in Malaysia and not just football.
In another new development yesterday, Annuar issued a statement saying that he’s ready to pullout from the race “if Khairy agrees to contest for the top post”.
Annuar claimed that Khairy “is the most suitable candidate” to fill the hot seat, having managed MyTeam and served as FAM deputy president.
“My nomination will not be relevant if KJ (Khairy) agrees to become a candidate ... Good luck KJ. I hope he can fulfil the aspirations of the fans to see Malaysian football climb to the top 100 nation status.
“For that, I hope KJ can expand the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) Blue Print to include a 30-year grace period to transform the DNA of Malaysian football,” said Annuar.
The FAM have 19 affiliated members, who will be represented by two delegates each. There will be a total of 39 votes, with one from the representative of the Football Coaches Association Malaysia. — Bernama