PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Youth and Sports is open to working with the new Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) leadership in managing the ministry’s National Football Development Programme (NFDP).
Newly-elected FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim had earlier said that all development programmes, including the NFDP, should be solely managed by the national governing football body.
The Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) also said that the ministry should allocate the budget for the game’s development to the FAM.
When asked to comment on the statement yesterday, Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin was diplomatic and said the ministry “is looking forward to working with the FAM”.
“The details can be discussed later,” said Khairy after a ceremony announcing Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad (PAMB) as sponsors of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (Aug 19-31) and Asean Para Games (Sept 17-23).
Khairy also said Tunku Ismail should be given the chance to carry out his vision to improve the state of football in the country.
“This is an exciting time for all football fans in the country. We want to see positive changes towards football in the country,” he said.
Khairy added that TMJ’s decision to remove national Under-22 coach Frank Bernhardt and replacing him with Datuk Ong Kim Swee should not affect the team’s preparations for the SEA Games.
“He (Kim Swee) was a former coach of the youth set-up, and has even won the SEA Games before. He’s not a stranger to that age group. I have a good working relationship with him and so does the National Sports Council (NSC),” he said.-STAR