KUALA LUMPUR – The Crown Prince of Johor is set to become the new president of Malaysian football after his rival Tan Sri Annuar Musa pulled out of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) race in a shock announcement on Thursday.
The Johor Darul Ta’zim boss, also known as TMJ, was firm favourite against the ex-Kelantan FA boss in the FAM elections on Saturday, but will now go on to assume the hot seat unopposed.
“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to give TMJ the honour of winning without contest, and be declared the new FAM president,” said Annuar via a Facebook post. “The commitment and enthusiasm shown by TMJ can be an important asset to FAM. He should be given an opportunity to do something for Malaysian football, and fulfill his promises. ”
The former Kelantan powerbroker also hinted that withdrawing at the last minute was in his plans all along.
“I had sent [TMJ] a text message on Nov. 16 last year to suggest that he assume the FAM throne through a no-contest victory, and today I keep that promise. I will focus on rebuilding the Kelantan football team through grassroots development to unearth young talents.
“I am sorry that I did not discuss my decision with anyone. It was because I did not want to be influenced by people who wanted me to contest. This is my honest decision and is made based on the future of FAM and Malaysian football.
“I wish the new president all the best in his duties.”
It is not clear how the 53rd FAM Congress will unfold now that Annuar has abruptly paved the way for TMJ to become president.
The national body is expected to make an official announcement on the matter soon.