TMJ running for FAM’s top post after pleas for him to save Malaysian football

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is expected to contest the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) presidency in March following a successful plea by the national body’s affiliates on Monday.

Representative from various affiliates – including Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and the Coaches Association – held an audience with Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar as part of efforts to convince the Crown Prince of Johor to stand for elections at the coming FAM Congress.

According to a statement by the club, Sultan Ibrahim had commanded Tunku Ismail to “change Malaysian football”.

The delegates of the FAM affiliate members were at the Pasir Pelangi Palace in Johor to seek consent for Tunku Ismail to lead the FAM and change the local football scene

“The delegates of the FAM affiliate members were at the Pasir Pelangi Palace in Johor to seek consent from the Sultan of Johor for the presidency nomination of Tunku Ismail at the national football congress this March, to lead the FAM and change the local football scene,” read the statement on the club’s social media accounts.

Sultan Ibrahim asked Tunku Ismail his thoughts during the meeting and the latter replied: “I will follow Tuanku’s command”, to which the ruler of the state asked his first-born to chart the future of Malaysian football.

Tunku Ismail had previously maintained his disinterest in bidding for the post, citing he would be biased towards the Southern Tigers and highlighting the fact the delegates had the chance to so in 2014.

Tunku Ismail went up against Tengku Abdulah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the 2014 Congress but lost in the second round of voting after the first round failed to give either candidate the two-third majority required.

The FAM elections were only due in 2018 but were brought forward as Tengku Abdullah had lost interest in the governing body and has been wanting to quit the national set-up since Malaysia lost 10-0 to United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifier in September 2015.

The other nominees for the post are Malaysia Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat. Khairy and Annuar were once FAM deputy-president, while Aseh is the FAM integrity committee chairman.