PETALING JAYA: The Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has lashed out at the FA of Malaysia (FAM) for failing to bring radical changes to the game.
“The way things are going in FAM right now, it is hard to imagine much positive changes in our local football. Even 20 years from now, we will still be in the same predicament,” Tunku Ismail said in a statement released yesterday.
“All we know is to invite foreign teams, such as Chelsea, to play here while neglecting our youth development and other critical aspects of national football.”
Tunku Ismail said he was issuing the statement in his capacity as the Crown Prince of Johor and not as the suspended Johor FA (JFA) president.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), the JFA received a letter warning us not to make any further statements criticising FAM to the press.
“This statement is not meant to undermine any particular individual or football association, but just to raise pressing concerns in our local football scene. If FAM see it fit to penalise me, so be it.”
He also claimed that the FAM had been unfair in meting out punishment.
“When I was suspended as JFA president, I was told that nobody was above the law. In the past, all sentences were passed by the FAM Disciplinary Board. However, in the case of Pahang vs Johor Darul Takzim in the FA Cup semi-finals, the fine was imposed by the Competitions Committee.
“For me, it’s never about the money but fairness in treatment of associations. It seems to me that FAM can bend the rules as they see fit.”
He also said that important issues “must be voiced out and brought forward”.
“Associations and individuals are not permitted to express their views and opinions to FAM. How can I share my opinions and discuss important matters when FAM seem unwilling to work together?,” said Tunku Ismail.
He also claimed that the FAM did not respond to any of his calls and letters.
“I have written to FAM, including about the standard of referees, and was met with no response. I voice out my concerns to the media because the Malaysian public has a right to know the truth,” he said.
“FAM should be thankful to Johor for making the local football scene more interesting. Every game that JDT play is a crowd-puller … Kudos also to Kelantan, Selangor, Armed Forces and the other teams for improving the landscape of local football. As such, Malaysian football is more dynamic and competitive compared to previous years.”
He also claimed that the JFA had yet to receive any revenue from the matches televised live by Astro.
“I am informed that for every match broadcast live on television, the home football association will receive RM15,000. The money has been allocated to FAM by Astro. (But) Up until today, I have not seen a single sen,” he said.
“Some people have advised me to take up a post in FAM but I would like to stress that I am not eyeing any post in FAM. I would be biased towards Johor …
“Office-bearers in FAM must be fair to every single team. Their priority should always be to improve the quality of Malaysian football.”