BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysian FA (FAM) secretary-general Dato' Hamidin Amin has urged fans to give time to association president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim and new Malaysia head coach; Nelo Vingada following Harimau Malaya's defeat to Lebanon on Tuesday.
Malaysia lost 2-1 to Lebanon at home in their 2019 Asian Cup qualification opening group match, conceding two goals in the final 10 minutes of the match.
In a statement issued early Friday morning, Hamidin voiced his disappointment towards several media reports that condemned Tunku Ismail, also known as TMJ by fans, and Vingada.
"It is unfair to judge Tunku Ismail who is only 83 days into his FAM presidency, and Vingada who has only taken over as Malaysia head coach for three weeks, by the first defeat and match under his (Tunku Ismail's) governance," wrote Hamidin on the FAM website.
Dato' Hamidin Amin. Photo by Izzat Akmal
According to Hamidin, many have conveniently forgotten the improvements instituted by Tunku Ismail ever since the Johor crown prince was elected president.
"If we recall, Tunku Ismail has brought about many changes since his first day, such as reorganising the association so as to function more effectively, hiring an experienced and high-profile foreign coach, Vingada to improve the national team, holding executive meetings in each state beginning with Sabah in order to bring FAM closer to its affiliates, organising dialogues with fans to hear their grouses, donating the use of state-of-the-art facilities for Harimau Malaya's training, as well as a new team coach, and many more will come," he reminded.
Hamidin finished by voicing his belief that Tunku Ismail and Vingada will bring success in the next two years.
"Give Tunku Ismail and Vingada time to develop Harimau Malaya into a more formidable side, and I believe we will reap the rewards in the next one or two years," pleaded Hamidin.