BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The Malaysian FA (FAM) executive committee on Monday formally accepted the resignation of Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim from the post of association president, and will nominate its new chief in its next congress on July 14.
It has also decided that secretary general Dato' Hamidin Amin will contest for the top post as per Tunku Ismail's exit recommendation, while accepting Tunku Ismail's suggestion of appointing deputy president Datuk Wira Yusoff Mahadi as the acting president until the congress.
"In the special meeting held just now, the executive committee (exco) unanimously decided to accept the resignation as we understand Tunku Ismail's decision, although we did it with a heavy heart. Deputy president Dato' Sri Subahan Kamal then nominated me as the acting president until the next congress on July 14, which was also accepted unanimously by the exco. I thank them for their trust in me.
"Tunku Ismail's suggestion of electing Hamidin as his successor was also accepted, and he has been nominated as the first candidate. We look forward to this step; if Hamidin wins the post it will be the first time that the post is held by a non-royalty, in line with Tunku's desire to give Malaysian football to the people," said Yusoff in the press conference held after the meeting.
Hamidin meanwhile spoke of the need to maintain continuity and establish smooth transition in the association leadership, and expresses his hope that the next exco members will be elected from those already inside the FAM ranks and not outside them.
"After taking into all account all factors and holding a heart-to-heart discussion with Tunku Ismail and the exco, we've established that we need to navigate the association through the transitional period well.
"I've served under three presidents, so I've amassed experience over the years. This will be my last step in Malaysian football; come July 14 there are only two outcomes for me, I will either be the FAM president or I will leave Malaysian football altogether.
"This is my sincere opinion; our football is at a low point and we need a smooth transition. Of course the association constitution allows outsiders to contest for the presidential position. We won't outright deny any outsiders from contesting, but if they want the best for the sport they'll let there be only one candidate so the exco can move as one," remarked the former Selangor FA secretary-general.
Hamidin submitted his candidacy documents after the press conference, in view of the press.