KUANTAN – Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants to quit as president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), following Harimau Malaya’s crushing 10-0 loss to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recently.
He said he would withdraw in stages soon after he was satisfied with all plans to boost the performance of the national football team.
“I will withdraw in stages because there is still much in FAM which I have to settle (before stepping down) to make it easier for all parties.
“I will suggest that FAM appoint Datuk Afandi (FAM deputy president, Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah) as acting president because I no longer want to play an active role (in FAM),” he said.
He said this to reporters today when asked to comment on the disgraceful 10-0 defeat of the national football team to UAE during the 2018 World Cup in Abu Dhabi recently.
Tengku Abdullah clearly could not hide his disappointment and anger at the humiliating loss and regarded it as sullying the image of national football.
“This is a very embarrasing and shameful loss, I cannot accept it. We have accepted Dollah Salleh’s resignation and I do not want it prolonged.
“I hope they can rise again and only the players and the coach can answer, regarding their performance in the match. A post-mortem must be carried out as soon as possible,” he said.
Tengku Abdullah said, from the beginning he was more comfortable if FAM hired a foreign coach to train the Harimau Malaya squad but the national football parent body insisted on picking Dollah Salleh to shoulder the task.
“From the beginning, Dollah Salleh was not my pick, but the technical committee and members wanted him…this is not an excuse but from early on, I had stated my hope they hired a foreign coach, that is why I am disappointed,” he said.
Nevertheless, Tengku Abdullah said the defeat and lackadaisical performance of the national football team should be a lesson and FAM must rise again to empower the national football team.
He said it included making early plans for the national football squad to face the 2023 Asia Cup qualifier, now that hopes to qualify for the 2019 Asia Cup had become dimmer.
Tengku Abdullah said towards this end, a new team must be formed to formulate a working paper on bringing back the image of the national football team under a new coach.
Meanwhile, when asked to comment on Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s statement on suspending FAM after the lacklustre performance of the national team, Tengku Abdullah said:
“Who can stop him, if he wants to use his power. He has the power, (so) do what needs to be done.” – BERNAMA