FAM’s recipe for success


By S. SIVABALAN

PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) are ready to ‘buy’ success. 

From next season onwards, the FAM will employ all senior national players on a full-time basis and pay their salaries. 

FAM vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad, in announcing this yesterday, said the move would prevent the national team from being at the mercy of the M-League teams. 

The FAM’s plan, beginning with the senior team, is similar to the model that was used for the 2000 Olympic team.  

IRWAN FADLI IDRUS: He could not turn up forselection for the Islamic Solidarity Games earlier this month as Pahang refused to release him.

The national players to be employed by the national body will stay and train at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on a full-time basis. 

When there are no international assignments, the players will be allowed to feature for their respective teams in the M-League. 

Dr Ibrahim said that the players to be employed by the FAM would be announced before the start of the new M-League season in December. 

“The main reason we wanted to introduce this new set-up is to give the national team the edge which does not exist at the moment,” he said after chairing the FAM technical committee meeting yesterday. 

“Whenever the national team prepare for international assignments, it’s hard to get players together even for two weeks.” 

Under the present arrangement, the players are employed by their respective M-League teams who in turn will release their players to the national team for international assignments. 

FAM were caught in a tight spot when the M-League teams refused to release their players for the Islamic Solidarity Games (ISG) in Saudi Arabia earlier this month. 

Six players from Pahang – Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Hairuddin Omar, Mohd Fadzli Shaari, Irwan Fadli Idrus, Rosdi Talib and Norhafiz Zamani Misbah – and three from Perak –Mohd Nor Ismail, K. Nanthakumar and Chan Wing Hoong – were called up.  

But they could not turn up for selection because their teams refused to release them. 

“With this new arrangement, FAM will pay the players’ salaries and not the states. We will have the priority, not the states. This will actually reduce the financial burden of the state teams,” said Dr Ibrahim. 

“Of course, the benefits to be a part of the national team will be higher compared to playing for the state teams. 

“This arrangement is nothing new. We had it for the 2000 Olympic team under former national coach, Tunisian Hatem Souissi. 

“But back then the national team players were not allowed to return to the respective state teams. 

“We will start with the senior team. With this new arrangement, the national team will play more international matches. The technical committee will iron out the guidelines.” 

Apart from Dr Ibrahim, the other members of the FAM technical committee in charge of setting up the guidelines are Datuk Jamal Nasir, national team manager Mohammad Bakar, Datuk Soh Chin Aun, Chow Kwai Lam and M. Kuppan. 

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