PETALING JAYA: Five heavyweights are set to contest for the No. 2 posts in the FA of Malaysia (FAM) at their congress scheduled for July 31.
The candidates vying for the two deputy presidents’ slots are the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, incumbent Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad, FAM vice-president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh and newcomers Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad, who is the Selangor FA deputy president, and Kelantan FA (Kafa) president Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
It will be interesting to see whether there will be a wind of change in the top brass with Tengku Abdullah and Annuar Musa, a former Youth and Sports Minister, joining the fray.
“It is a family affair ... as we all bid to help raise the bar in Malaysian football,” said Annuar, who was inspirational in the rise of Kelantan football in barely two years since he became the Kafa president in 2007.
The Red Warriors were the runners-up in both the FA Cup and Malaysia Cup competitions last year. Kelantan also enjoy one of the best fan support in the country with all their home matches played to capacity crowd. They also have a large following all over the country.
But Annuar said that it would take a whole lot more energy to help transform the state of Malaysian football.
“It is going to be a collective effort from all quarters, including support from the affiliates,” he said.
“There has to be proper planning and the structure of our development programmes has to be put in place before we can start to see results in six to seven years’ time.
“We have to take a hard look at the Super league. We can’t be making ad hoc decisions and we have to be more professional in our organisational set-up.”
Tengku Abdullah, who is also the Malaysian Hockey Federation president, will bid to make a comeback after quitting the post in July 2007.
Incumbent Khairy Jamaluddin, who is the Umno Youth chief, is not seeking re-election.
Sultan Ahmad Shah has been returned unopposed as the president for a 13th consecutive term since 1984.
The FA of Selangor secretary, Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, is tipped as the frontrunner in the contests for the four vice-presidents’ posts.
The others vying for the posts are incumbent Datuk Apandi Hamzah (Kelantan), Datuk Subahan Kamal (Selangor), Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim (Penang), Datuk Seri Abdullah Hishan, Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin (Perak), Datuk Lawrence Gimbang (Sabah) and Datuk S. Subramaniam (Malaysian Indian Sports Council).