PETALING JAYA – Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah has confirmed that the governing body has received a show-cause letter from the International Football Federation (FIFA) over a rioting incident by fans at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sept 8.
He said FAM received the letter, a day after the incident and it was given 14 days to reply or face the possibility of being suspended from participating in international level tournaments organised by FIFA.
He also confirmed FAM received the show-cause letter on Sept 9 from the Sports Commissioner’s Office and was given 14 days to provide a full report on the incident.
“We are also disappointed with what had happened. After discussing all matters, we have decided to focus on the necessary action in the context of resurrecting our position.
“We will also be sending an apology to the Saudi Arabian Embassy and other ambassadors present at the match,” he said in a media conference after chairing an FAM executive committee meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya today.
The 2018 World Cup/2019 Asian Cup qualifying match between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia had to be stopped by referee, Liu Kwok Man of Hong Kong in the 88th minute after a few supporters believed to be Ultras Malaya hurled flares and firecracker rockets onto the pitch.
In this regard, Afandi announced FAM would also be sending a letter to Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin for a meeting soon to discuss the country’s latest football development.
He said in the meeting which would be attended by the FAM exco, they hoped Khairy would get a clearer picture on several current issues besetting national football, including the poor performance of Harimau Malaya lately.
Afandi also said the FAM Task Force headed by another FAM deputy president, Datuk Abdul Mokhtar Ahmad would be holding a special meeting on Monday to discuss various matters, including a reshuffle of the FAM top leadership.
Meanwhile, he said FAM would return to strengthening five major areas to restore national football dignity which has been tarnished at international level.
The five areas, said Afandi, are youth development, local leagues, FAM management, status of Harimau Muda and the National Football Squad.
He said the five areas were still relevant with the current football development in the country even though some parties claimed FAM failed in the development of football, especially at grassroot level.
Supporting the views of Afandi was Abdul Mokhtar who wanted local football supporters to be patient as they were looking at the best way to arrest the decline in the performance of the national football squad.
He stressed that a major reshuffle in FAM would not resolve the poor performance of the squad as it needed a long term plan. – BERNAMA