KUALA LUMPUR: In a surprise move, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) have named vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad as the new general secretary of FAM instead of the five short-listed candidates.
Dr Ibrahim himself was caught off-guard when he was informed of the FAM council’s decision headed by FAM president Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Ahmad Shah at about 10am, an hour before the start of the FAM's 42nd Annual Congress yesterday.
Two assistant general secretaries were also appointed – Noor Kefli Sulong, the director of futsal in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Rosli Hussein (a lecturer and former international).
The two were among the five short-listed for the post from the 168 candidates who applied for the job. The other three are John Lawrence William (school teacher with PhD in sports science), Razi Abdullah (banker) and Jacob Lim Hong Teong (businessman).
Dr Ibrahim’s appointment was quite a shock as he was not among the five short-listed for the post which was vacated by Datuk Dell Akbar Khan in February.
Dell’s assistant Datuk Yap Nyim Keong also tendered his resignation three months ago.
“I need three to four months to unwind. I will resign from several other positions I currently hold in order to take up the appointment,” said Dr Ibrahim.
He will resign as the FAM and Penang FA deputy president, FAM technical chairman, president of Malay Football Association, chairman of the Sports Advisory Panel (SAP) and slowly relinquished his responsibilities as the president of University Kuala Lumpur.
He will remain as the steering committee chairman of the Gemilang 2006 programme.
“I am just the technical chairman there so it will not be an overlapping post. Football is also not a part of the programme,” added Ibrahim.
The post of general secretary of FAM comes with a RM200,000 salary per annum and a car.
The decision taken to appoint Ibrahim to the post was taken during an emergency council meeting chaired by Sultan Ahmad about an hour before the start of the Congress.
The other council members who attended the meeting were deputy presidents Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad, vice-presidents Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin, Datuk Jamal Nasir Rasdi, Datuk Anifah Aman and Dr Ibrahim.
“We viewed the situation of appointing a new general secretary very seriously. We needed someone who has administrative capabilities and experience as well as someone who knows the in and outs of football in the country,” said Sultan Ahmad during the Congress meeting.
“He must also have good relationships with the affiliates, media and everyone else.
“It’s not that the candidates who were interviewed do not have the credentials. It is the fact that they do not have enough experience and exposure to take up the position. So I decided to appoint Dr Ibrahim.
“I have also decided to appoint two assistant general secretaries Noor Kefli Sulong and Rosli Hussein,” added Sultan Ahmad.
Ironically, it was Dr Ibrahim who conducted the interviews together with officers from the international auditing firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers who were roped in to re-structure FAM’s administrative set-up and help them find a full-time general secretary.