ISKANDAR PUTERI (Johor Baru): Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s decision to resign as president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is final.
He made that clear by confirming his resignation at the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) Congress in Iskandar Puteri, Johor Baru, yesterday.
Tunku Ismail also recommended Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi to be appointed as acting FAM president until the 64th FAM Congress on July 14 and FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin to lead the association after that.
At the same function yesterday, he was officially appointed as chairman of the Malaysia Football League (MFL), which is the new name for the FMLLP now undergoing a rebranding exercise.
Tunku Ismail, who held the post of FAM president for one year, confirmed he had sent his resignation letter to FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.
When announcing the matter, Tunku Ismail said after leading the FAM for one year, he had brought new structural and system changes to the country’s football governing body. Among them was to hold the regular exco meeting in each state.
“If we look, I have brought in many sponsors in which for the first time in history, each team competing in the Super League received almost RM3mil, as well as RM1mil for each Premier League team. God willing, it will increase.
“If seen from the structural aspect and relations with fans, we have improved and we could see the national Under-23, Under-19, and Under-16 squads showing excellent results and qualifying for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup for the first time,” he told reporters after the second 2018 FMLLP Congress.
Tunku Ismail said he was always evaluated by the performance of the national team but he did not blame the supporters as many parties saw him as a competitor.
“Many see me not as FAM president but as the owner of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), the strongest team in the country. Many see me as a competitor and was evaluated as not wise, not clever,” he said.
As such, he did not want to waste time serving a small group who are considered “less clever”.
Tunku Ismail had expressed his decision to lead FAM for a year to Hamidin before.
However, Hamidin later requested Tunku Ismail to reconsider his decision and to lead FAM for one term instead of one year.
Meanwhile, FMLLP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam said the appointment of Tunku Ismail as MFL chairman was effective from yesterday.
According to him, the unanimous decision was made by all 24 shareholders of the organisation.
Apart from that, the congress held yesterday also agreed to make MFL a neutral body and not linked to FAM.
“The selection of Tunku Ismail as chairman of MFL was made based on his position as the owner of JDT and not through a post in FAM.
“All 24 shareholders also agreed to redraft the existing constitution to raise the quality and image of the league and the local football industry,” said Kevin.
He added the process of name change and rebranding was expected to be completed in 90 days. — Bernama