FAM sec-gen: M-League teams should accept AMD players’ ‘price tags’

Football Association of Malaysia Secretary-General Stuart Michael Ramalingam speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya July 23, 2018. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli
Football Association of Malaysia Secretary-General Stuart Michael Ramalingam speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya July 23, 2018. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 — Solidarity payments or ‘price tags’ stipulated for trainees of the Mokhtar Dahari Football Academy (AMD) should be accepted by any team competing in the Malaysian League (M-League).

It is a bitter pill to swallow for football teams in the country due to the lack of efforts to create a systematic and comprehensive development ecosystem to improve the quantity and quality of players by establishing their own academies.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam was of the opinion that if every competing team was able to have its own football academy, then AMD will no longer be needed.

“If all 14 states have a system similar to AMD (football development academy) then we don’t have any need for AMD. We (AMD) do something good that makes it easy for everyone.

“The world of football is changing and the solidarity payments is just following the rules introduced by the Fifa (Fédération Internationale de Football Association),” he told Bernama today.

On Sunday, National Sports Council (MSN) director-general Datuk Ahmad Shapawi Ismail confirmed that any football club interested in obtaining the services of AMD trainees would be given a ‘price tag’ as an incentive in the form of compensation to the academy.

The move received mixed reactions, especially for teams seeking to acquire the services of AMD trainees that they have to pay compensation starting as low as US$2,000 (RM8,280) per player in accordance with Fifa’s set guidelines.

However, Stuart insisted the amount of compensation was not applicable to AMD’s elite trainees.

“Fifa’s fixed amount may be appropriate for any academy that does not incur excessive costs but in AMD the costs are quite high.

“When it comes to high cost, we need to do something to offset it. It’s not a profit-making exercise but we need to cover the cost so we can reinvest the money to produce more talented players,” he said.

In the meantime, Stuart also confirmed that the National Football Development Programme (NFDP) will be officially registered under FAM beginning next year. — Bernama

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