Time to look ahead, develop national football landscape, says FAM sec-gen

KUALA LUMPUR: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) can breathe a sigh of relief and focus on developing the national football landscape now that the allegations of abuse of power against the governing body have been classified as “no further action” (NFA).

FAM secretary-general Datuk Noor Azman Rahman said the allegations, a result of the poison pen letter that was disseminated towards the end of March, had been a huge burden to the national football governing body.

He said the situation caused the FAM to be almost ‘’paralysed’’ for nearly two months.

“The matter (poison pen letter) was a heavy burden for us (FAM) because from March 31 onwards, for nearly two months, we couldn’t do anything. When the situation cleared up and the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) announced the NFA, we were very grateful.

“Alhamdulillah, everything that we did has been recognised. In terms of governance, we adhered to FIFA’s (the world governing body) regulations,” he said when met at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

Noor Azman said the FAM would continue to look forward, including preparing the national team for international competitions.

“For FAM, we want to move forward and not look back. Much more for us to think about ... (the Harimau Malaya squad) still have two more matches, then there’s the Under-20, Under-17 sides, the AFF (Asean Football Federation) Cup and many more (tournaments),” he said.

Yesterday, the FAM Integrity Committee said that the MACC had conducted a probe that included allegations of the abuse of power in the tender process for the National Training Centre (NTC) in Putrajaya worth RM25mil and the issue of misuse of money for the organisation of the 60th FAM Congress.

Committee chairman Tan Sri Dr Aseh Che Mat had said that investigations into both issues had been completed and referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor, who was satisfied with the result of MACC’s investigation and decided to classify the case as NFA.

The poison pen letter had gone viral as an e-mail at the end of March, highlighting leadership and management issues in the FAM.

The four main issues raised were abuse of power by the FAM secretary-general, staff salary and benefits as well as issues involving the Harimau Malaya squad and the NTC project. — Bernama

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