It’s official, folks!
Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim has won the Football Association of Malaysia presidency after Tan Sri Annuar Musa publicly announced his decision to withdraw from the race, merely two days before the votes were scheduled to be casted.
The announcement was made in a press conference earlier today, and Annuar Musa also went on to explain the thought process behind his withdrawal in a post on his official Facebook page.
— Astro AWANI (@501Awani) March 23, 2017
This undoubtedly comes as an anti-climax ending to the much-discussed battle between TMJ and Annuar Musa, but it also means that Tunku Ismail could be on the verge of ushering in a new era for Malaysian football and even Asian football to a large extent.
TMJ’s influence on Malaysian football is absolutely indubitable. His leadership helped Johor DT grow exponentially over the last four years – they even became the first Southeast Asian side to win the AFC Cup title in 2015. Last year, they also become the first Malaysian side to win three consecutive Malaysian Super League titles.
But the bigger impact can be seen across different areas of the football club as well. The Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos stadium in Larkin is arguably the best in the country in terms of facilities, pitch condition and access for fans. At the same time, they’ve got a beautiful indoor training center, alongside a highly-equipped gym as well.
Tunku Ismail has also been able to broker exceptional partnerships between Johor DT and European sides like Borussia Dortmund and even Valencia.
CLEARING OUT FAM
But dismantling exististing structures in FAM will undoubtedly take time, and it remains to be seen if TMJ will be going gung ho in his approach – the way he revamped Johor football when he first came into the scene back in 2013.
This also puts a major question mark on the future of Datuk Ong Kim Swee, who is not TMJ’s favourite individual either. In fact, the Crown Prince went as far as hinting that he would appoint Mario Gomez to be the next Malaysian head coach, should he become the next FAM president.
What are your thoughts on this news? Is this the dawn of a new era in Malaysian football?