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Walk the talk

My take on the new FA of Malaysia line up as published in today's Mailsports.

SHAH ALAM: The affiliates have spoken. Now it remains to be seen if the newlyelected board will live up to expectations. To the masses, the 47th FA of Malaysia (FAM) Congress on Saturday was a side show with little significance to Malaysian football.

But to the stakeholders, there has been a big shift in regime. As outgoing deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin quietly exited the Congress after delivering the closing speech and ousted deputy president Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad sported a dejected look after only securing one vote, the new lineup sees a "fresh" set of officials eager to guide the fortunes of the domestic league.

It was no surprise why an army ambulance was located right at the entrance of the ballroom. Perhaps the results were certainly not for the faint-hearted.

As members of the Press hurriedly interviewed the newly-elected officials, there were whispers among the affiliates wondering about the fate of FAM and their secretariat.

They claim, judging from this lineup, FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah has lost his key supporters.

There were also claims that his son Tengku Abdullah Shah, who is again deputy- president along with Tan Sri Anuar Musa, wants to be part of the national setup in order to strengthen his position for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) elections next year.

There are also talks that the days of certain key administrators in the secretariat are numbered.

Selangor seem to be the "biggest" winners of the day with Datuk Hamidin Amin and Datuk Subahan Kamal named vicepresidents.

The other two vice-presidents are Datuk Afandi Hamzah dan Datuk Seri Abdullah Hishan Hashim. The Red Giants made the day memorable after netting the Super League title later in the evening.

While Sultan Ahmad may have left some of the members in stitches during the Congress, the direction set for the newcomers was no laughing matter.

The league needs a revamp and Anuar Musa is well aware of that. In fact, if FAM continue to claim a stake in MSL Sdn Bhd, then the Kelantan FA president should be given the opportunity to run the show.

Nevertheless, if the new board means business, then it's high time for the league to be handled by a neutral party with the competitions committee no longer being part of the secretariat.

It is the job of the secretariat to run the daily affairs of the national body and not be tasked to babysit everything under the sun. Ask their general secretary Datuk Azzudin Ahmad and he'll certainly agree.

We could learn a thing or two from the just concluded Soccerex Asian Forum in Singapore. We need to market the M-League well and hopefully turn it into a mould for our national team. Enough excuses. Please walk the talk.

HD says
: Or as Velvet Underground sang, Walk and Talk.


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