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JOHOR BHARU – The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are in a major financial crisis said newly elected president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Tunku Ismail or popularly known as TMJ (Tunku Mahkota of Johor), said FAM’s financial situation could hamper his efforts to carry out development programmes or changes aspired by the fans and the people.

“On the first day I had entered the FAM in my officially capacity as president, oozing with confidence and ideas, ready to rock and roll. So, I started checking everything, I got all the files, I got everybody coming up to me…FAM has no money.

“You know how much shortage? RM40 million shortage of money. There’s no money in FAM. How am I going to run the league? How am I going to look after the national team, how to change a new coach, buy equipment?

“Of course no one has the answer. It’s okay, I don’t want to worry about it. I want to move forward,” he told about 40 media practitioners comprising chief editors and sports editors at Bangunan Sultan Ibrahim, here today.

TMJ said due to lack of funds, he had to take proactive measures, including terminating the services of 20 staff, although he had no intention to ‘throw sand into people’s rice bowl’ as claimed by some on social media.

“Everyone, including the fans need to know what we can do and what we cannot do. We have to be realistic. So, to restructure the organisation, we need not pay staff who are not productive because we don’t want to waste FAM’s money.

“My main focus is to protect the money and assets that belong to FAM, therefore 20 staff have been terminated. Media has to understand and highlight the positive things.

“I am not throwing sand into people’s rice bowl. That’s got nothing to do with my intention. I think the first priority should be given to the association,” he said.

He said FAM was in the process of discussing with prospective sponsors like Zenith and Fox Sport.

“I am working hard to find sponsors for the mid-season activities this year, next year and years to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, TMJ also chided state football associations and clubs that spent exorbitant amounts on import players.

“I have given ideas to restructure their financial status. We will see during the second window for registration of players. I want to rescue them from unrecognised player agents,” he said. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA – “We will give our best cooperation to FAM,” stressed Youth and Sports Minister when asked about the status of the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) yesterday.

He said he was confident the cooperation between the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) under the new leadership of Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, and NFDP, would provide a positive impact on football development in the country.

He said this after launching the bidding process for ‘Rimau’ vehicle registration numbers at his ministry here yesterday.

SEPANG – The former Under-22 coach, Frank Bernhardt said he was not surprised with the decision made by the President of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to terminate his services recently.

Bernhardt, who was appointed by FAM as Under-22 coach in 2015, said he knew the news about his duty termination through the media and wanted to meet FAM for further explanation as soon as possible.

“It’s correct, I heard that from the media. Personally, I’ve no information yet from FAM regarding this matter. I believe we will discuss this matter further and to clear some of the statement.

“This (termination) can happen when someone is appointed as the new president. When new people take over, they want to change or make a change and yes it can happen. This is a situation I had to deal with,” he told reporters upon arriving with the Under-22 squad from Dubai at the KL International Airport (KLIA), here, today.

Commenting on the appropriateness of FAM to announce his termination while he and the team were abroad, Bernhardt said: “The date of announcement may not be the right time but we cannot change anything.”

Bernhardt added as a coach he had a responsibility to finish up his job but he would abide by the decision.

“I don’t know that my philosophy is different from him because we (he and Tunku Ismail) never spoke to each other. At the moment, I can’t give any comment on the contract,” he said.

Tunku Ismail, who took over the post of the new president of FAM, has appointed Mario Gomez as the new chief coach for Harimau Malaysia (national football squad), replacing Datuk Ong Kim Swee.

Meanwhile, Kim Swee has been entrusted the task of coaching the national Under-22 squad.

The development saw the ouster of Bernhardt from the FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) football development plans under the new leadership of FAM. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – A total revamp of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is among a 11-point manifesto released by FAM presidential candidate Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

Tunku Ismail, the owner of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) who is vying for the post of president said in the manifesto that he was prepared to bring about changes, including a dialogue with football fans in the country as well as holding FAM exco meetings at every state.

“Hosting the FAM exco meeting in states would give committee members a chance to see the development in the respective states, facilities available, junior development programmes, financial status and condition of the state association premises or clubs,” said TMJ in the official JDT Facebook posting (The Southern Tigers).

Tunku Ismail said a total revamp was needed in the FAM due to lack of professionalism, poor management of funds, integrity issues, lack of passion, claims of corruption and biased treatment.

TMJ also has plans to review and amend the FAM Constitution to enable fans to elect the president of FAM instead of delegates from affiliates.

“Football belongs to the people, especially fans and I believe the people must choose the president,” he said.

During the congress, all other posts can be voted in by the delegates but the post of president must be the choice of the people.

The FAM must not be used for political gains and it must also be ensured that football does not fall in the hands of politicians.

“My main focus will be to increase the commercial value of the Super League and Premier League, development of football, adopt a global approach in developing football, improve the quality of refereeing and facilities.

“The structure of the senior national squad will also be reviewed,” said TMJ in the Facebook posting.

Tunku Ismail will be challenged by Kelantan Football Association adviser Tan Sri Annuar Musa during the 53rd FAM Congress on Saturday. – BERNAMA

Pribumi Cannot Lead Government Like UMNO, Says Annuar

JERLUN – Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) presidential candidate Tan Sri Annuar Musa said it has not crossed his mind to withdraw from the race.

While he has yet to receive the inspiration to withdraw, Annuar who is also UMNO Information chief said on the contrary many parties were urging him to continue the contest for the post.

“I do not want to make the FAM president fight as the ultimate goal, I am thinking more of the people and the government’s victory in the 14th general
election,” he said after attending the simultaneous opening of Kedah UMNO branch meeting here today.

The March 25 FAM presidential election will be a straight fight between the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Annuar.

The UMNO leader said he did not want to carry out any politicking nor campaign to win votes as he was confident the affliate members had already made up their minds on whom to choose.

“What is important is that national football has to improve, it does not matter if I win or not,” he said.

Commenting on the action of some parties disputing his competency as FAM president, Annuar said he was prepared to accept any criticisms and views thrown at him with an open heart.

“I should be challenged because as a candidate if I am not challenged, it means I am perfect, similarly people who disputed my candidacy should also be ready to accept my criticism, but we will be courteous,” he said. – BERNAMA

BANGI – Affiliates of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have been urged to be rational when electing the new president.

FAM former secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ibrahim Saad said they should not be emotional since it is crucial for the future of Malaysian football.

Asked who was more qualified to be the new president of FAM, Ibrahim declined to give a straight answer.

He said the Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Kelantan Football Association advisor Tan Sri Annuar Musa, have extensive experience in football management.

“Who ever wins the election will surely use his experience and ability for the good of football. No need to hurt the feelings of others,” he said when met at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) campus in Bangi here, today.

On Monday, Tunku Ismail and Annuar accepted their nominations as candidates to contest for the post of FAM president. – BERNAMA

PUTRAJAYA: Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) says he will remain neutral in the contest for the post of Football Association of Malaysia president.

Khairy said as a minister, he would not take the side of either Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim or former Kelantan Football Association president Tan Sri Annuar Musa, who are contesting the post.

“I’m a minister and I can’t take sides. I must be neutral but I will work with whoever will help the body,” he said on Tuesday.

Khairy, who was one of the contenders for the post, kept to his word to withdraw from the race when Tunku Ismail submitted his nomination.

The nomination for the FAM presidency closed on Monday.

The contest will be a straight fight between Tunku Ismail and Annuar.

Former Putrajaya Corporation chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat also pulled out from the race on Monday.

 

PETALING JAYA: The stage is set for a head-on clash between Johor Tunku Mahkota Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) presidency.

FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin confirmed the national body has received the nomination acceptance forms from both candidates.

Speaking at a press conference at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya Monday, Hamidin said the two other candidates – Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and FAM Integrity Committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat – have withdrawn from the elections.

Annuar, who is Umno information chief, was former deputy FAM president.

The FAM Congress will be held on March 25 to select a new leadership line-up for the national football body.

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Annuar Musa will be contesting for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) presidency.

In a Facebook post on Monday, the Umno information chief and Ketereh MP confirmed that he had accepted the nomination to contest the post.

“I am the first to accept the nomination. In the spirit of sportsmanship … and for the love of the sport,” he said, in a post accompanied by a photograph of him handing a form over to FAM secretary-general Hamidin Mohd Amin and another of the latter scrutinising the form.

Besides Annuar – who is a former deputy FAM president – Johor Darul Ta’zim football club owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and FAM integrity committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat have been nominated for the top FAM post.

Nominations for the FAM presidency will close on Feb 13 and affiliated bodies will cast their votes on March 25.

Earlier on Monday, Johor’s Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar gave his blessing for his son Tunku Ismail to contest the post.

 

FAM Reduces Punishment Against PAFA

KUALA LUMPUR – The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has reduced the punishment against the Perak Football Association (Pafa) after reviewing the appeal made by Pafa.

FAM Appeals Committee chairman Datuk A. Gnanarajah said during a meeting today, the committee agreed to reduce the punishment to play three matches behind closed doors at home to two, which would take effect from Feb 4.

As such, fans would be allowed to watch the Perak’s inaugural Super League match against Pahang at Perak Stadium in Ipoh on Saturday (Jan 21),” he said in a statement released by FAM today.

He said, however, that the RM47,500 fine imposed by the FAM Disciplinary Committee against Pafa on Nov 2, was retained.

The latest ruling will see Perak play behind closed doors for its Super League clash against Melaka United on Feb 4, in addition to a FA Cup second round match against the winners of the match between the Malay Football Association Malaysia and SAMB FC, on Feb 15.

The FAM Disciplinary Committee had previously imposed a punishment of playing three matches behind closed doors in addition to a fine of RM47,500 against Pafa.

This followed the action of Perak fans in throwing bottles towards Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) supporters in a case which caused injuries during a Super League match between JDT and Perak at Perak Stadium on Aug 6 last year.

Gnanarajah also said the committee rejected an appeal submitted by Sarawak player Mohd Hairol Mokhtar against a suspension and fine meted out on Sept 1.

The RM2,000 fine on the player would be retained while the suspension from all M-League competitions would be increased from six months to seven months.

This means, Mohd Hairol, who began serving his sentence on Sept 1, would only be allowed back into action after March 31.

Mohd Hairol was handed the punishment after found guilty of violent conduct against the referee during a Malaysia Cup match between Kedah and Sarawak at Stadium Darul Aman, Alor Setar, on July 13 last year. – BERNAMA