BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
New Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) wasted no time in getting down to work after being confirmed in his new position at the 53rd FAM Congress held on Saturday afternoon. TMJ is aware of the mammoth task that awaits him and sent out strong messages that would please the country's football fans.
Speaking at the press conference after the congress,TMJ was without doubt that the first matter at hand is for him to clear the internal mess that surrounds the governing body.
"I need to clean my house first before I do anything," said TMJ in the presser.
It's a clear and resounding message back to the affiliates and officials that is now under his purview. From his time with Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), it is clear that TMJ does not stand for incompetence and that would be the level of demands that he expects from the people at FAM.
Amongst the changes that TMJ intends to implements includes the following:
- Review of the FAM accounts and prioritise in taking care of the budget available
- Reviewing the quality and number of staffs at FAM
- Improve the quality of referees with help from abroad
- Review and improve Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) with TMJ as the new chairman
- Redirect development programs from National Football Development Program (NFDP) to the affiliates and clubs
The president who is also the owner of JDT, also stressed that those under him will have to change the manners of their ways and adjust to his style. TMJ intends to pass the same requirements and judgments in every aspect with proper check and balance in place.
"Everybody has to follow my momentum and pace. I'm a young man and I like to get things done. But I'm not worried about that because I'll my people everywhere and I'm very hands on," added Tunku Ismail.
As has been his motto since day one, TMJ reiterated that FAM and himself is serving the public - the fans. Although TMJ did temper unnecessary expectations and calls for more realistic targets for the national team.
"The fans [are the biggest challenge]. The fans want to win the world Cup and that is the biggest. The football has been in a slump for 30 years and we have to be realistic. I'm gonna be with the team, the coaches, the players and we're going to fight for it."
"The target is to improve the system so that in long term we can have a very good football nation in terms of systems and structures that are in place," said Tunku Ismail.
Getting the right system in place is undeniably the most important task that TMJ will have to embark on. The ancient systems that have kept Malaysian football in the shadows will have to be revamped.
Results will not come overnight, just like Rome wasn't built in a day. Changes will take time - the complete uprooting of the problems that has beset Malaysian football and replanting them with the right seeds will see the country's most loved sport move back into the right direction.
The floor is yours, Mr President.