PETALING JAYA, July 12 — Perception matters and the FA of Malaysia (FAM) failed miserably at the executive committee (exco) meeting at Wisma FAM yesterday.
This comes despite president Tengku Abdullah Shah pledging to the exco, via a letter read by general-secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin, he would step down if Malaysia fail to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup.
Seven of the 17 exco members — Tengku Abdullah, vice-presidents Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin, Datuk Sudarsono Osman and Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan and ordinary members Yusoff Mahadi, Goh Ah Chai and Othman Aziz — skipped the meeting.
To make matters worse, answers at the press conference that followed were nothing short of a farce, giving rise to even more questions — a worrying sign considering Malaysia’s continuous slide on the Fifa world rankings to No 168 at present.
“The president had to attend an AFC meeting,” said deputy-president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah, but stopped short of explaining about of the rest.
It was learnt Yusoff is with the futsal team in New Zealand as team manager, Zainol is performing umrah and Ah Chai had a medical emergency.
Afandi was dumbfounded as to why the meeting was scheduled despite knowing AFC’s exco meeting was on the same day in Bahrain and some of its officials were not able to attend.
At a time when Malaysian football is in the doldrums and sinking without trace in the world rankings, the national body failed to convince critics that long-standing problems would be addressed for the better.
The national body announced plans to set up a task force to look into the national team’s performance after pathetic displays of late. However, details of the task force and its direction would only be sorted out after Aidilfitri.
Asked about previous task forces and various studies over the last two decades, Afandi brushed it off, saying: “Give us the chance.”
Malaysia were held 1-1 by Timor Leste and thrashed 6-0 by Palestine in the 2018 World Cup/2019 Asian Cup qualifiers at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last month.