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Tengku Abdullah entrusted to improve Malaysian football

Tengku Abdullah entrusted to improve Malaysian football

Izzat Akmal Ismail

The Pahang Crown Prince was elected as the President of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)


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The 50th Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) congress was held earlier today and it heralded the end of one era and the start of another. After 30 years of being at the helm of FAM as the President, HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah relinquished the post and handed over the baton to Tengku Abdullah, who will take over for a four year term (2014 – 2018).

In an unexpected turn of events, Sultan Ahmad Shah announced in his opening speech that he has withdrawn his name from the presidency battle and that meant that it was down to Tengku Abdullah and Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) to contest for the top post. After the initial voting was done, Tengku Abdullah garnered 24 votes to TMJ’s 15 votes. However, this did not fulfil the 2/3 majority rule and a second round of voting had to be done. For the second round, only a winning majority is sufficient to win the election. Tengku Abdullah earned 3 more than he got in the first round to finally secure the post.

Speaking to the media after the congress, Tengku Abdullah was keen to stress that winning this election is only the first step of one huge pile of responsibility.

“To me, this is not a victory but this is accepting and embracing a big responsibility to the team and the people of Malaysia. I’m ready to hear from anyone who has an opinion about the state of Malaysian football and I’m prepared to right what is lacking in our game or administration.”

Tengku Abdullah also earmarked one of the steps that he will embark in his new role in FAM.

“I still stand by what I said in my campaign, that we have to change. There are 10 new faces on the exco that was elected today and with that, there will be new perspectives. One of it is that we might perform a forensic audit on FAM itself. Be it from the financial side, coaching side or any other.”

The newly elected President was also keen to stress that FAM wants working relationships with all parties to improve Malaysian football.

“This is not my agenda but a national agenda. We will need help from everyone, from the government to the individual football loving people. I will give them the chance and platform to discuss on what needs to be done. A four thousand miles journey starts with a single step.  I want to start with the right step.”

When asked what the football fans have to look forward to in his helm in the top brass of FAM, Tengku Abdullah was adamant that there will be change.

“My mission is simple, that is to improve Malaysian football as a whole. There must be patience from all parties as this does not happen overnight. Give me the space to change things and then only judge me after 4 years. There must be hunger, even from the players. A change of attitude from them to be always hungry for success.”

In other posts, Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah and Datuk Abdul Mokhtar Ahmad were voted to be the Deputy President role. While Dato Sudardono bin Osman, Dato Zainol Fadzi, Datuk Rozaibil bin Abdul Rahman and Dato Takiyuddin bin Hj Hassan were successful in their bid for the four Vice President posts.

The fans asked for a change and it has happened. It’s time to support the new man in charge so that the changes that will be made, will be successful. Baton’s in your hands now, Tengku Abdullah.