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The vocal supporters of Malaysian football were summoned for a meeting at the crown prince's official residence last Saturday, and Goal got a chance to reveal the details

GOALBY    ZULHILMI ZAINAL     Follow on Twitter

After a picture of a supposed meeting between one of the FAM presidential candidates, Johor FA's Tunku Ismail Idris (TMJ) and representatives of Ultras Malaya surfaced on social media a few days ago, rumours were abound that the most vocal Malaysian football unofficial supporters' coalition are backing the crown prince in his candidacy.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will undergo their poll on May 25 for several top positions, including the posts of president, and vice-presidents. Tunku Ismail is one of the three candidates currently vying for the presidential seat.

On Monday night,
Goal managed to speak with one of the representatives, who declined to be named, on the meeting and their supposed backing of TMJ.

He said that the meeting took place on Saturday at Istana Bukit Pelangi, the crown prince's official residence.

When asked the reason behind the meeting, he said that TMJ acknowledges the efforts that have been undertaken by the Ultras in getting the FAM to reform and transform themselves. "He informed us that this is also what he intends to put FAM through, should he win the election."

He further added that TMJ told them that upon assuming the role as the Johor FA president, TMJ has put PBNJ through several reformation exercises himself, to put a stop to a few irregularities, and restructure the running of the association, something that TMJ intends to do for FAM.

"TMJ claimed that JDT fans are able to meet and speak with him every now and then, as he is answerable to the fans."

On that note, the representative remarked to TMJ in the meeting that what has been lacking in the FAM polls is the candidates' clear, and more refined vision, mission and objectives for FAM. This, according
to the representative, was met positively by the crown prince.

When finally pressed on their stand on TMJ's nomination, he replied: "We were there to meet a member of the establishment who was willing to engage the fans in the running of the game, as we have always done. It would be unfair for us to back any candidates without listening to them first, if they are
willing to engage us. Plus, it isn't as if we have the power of voting in the poll."

However the lack of voting rights did not seem to stop Ultras Malaya. Two months ago, they caused a halt to the Malaysia-Philippines friendly match with their flare-strewn protest against FAM, and they have been publishing exposes on the poll candidates through their
Twitter account and their website. Interestingly last Sunday, the day after their meeting with TMJ, they were seen tweeting the Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin, claiming to have proof of several irregularities in last year's Malaysia XI-Barcelona, and Harimau Muda-Brisbane Roar friendly matches. Khairy responded by instructing them to send him the proofs through a private channel.

The other two candidates for the post of president are the incumbent, Pahang's monarch Sultan Ahmad Shah who has held the position for 30 years, and his crown prince, Tengku Abdullah, who is rumoured to be
the frontrunner for the post.