The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim engaged in a chat session with several members from the local football scene on Tuesday night.
Amongst those present at the discussion were football pundit Shebby Singh, Kevin Ramalingam from the Football Malaysia LLP, Hairuddin Omar from PFAM, representatives from Tifo Arena and Stadium MY.
While addressing the various problems that are currently plaguing the Malaysian football scene, the FAM president said that it all boils down to three main issues.
“What’s the problem with Malaysian football? I’ll tell you, there are three problems — corruption, lack of professionalism, and lack of education.” the Crown Prince said.
The FAM president also said that the mentality among local football fans need to change. They often criticise their football clubs, but they rarely express their support or even make the effort to go the stadium.
“It’s not like this in other countries. Here, we have fans who want their teams to win, but they don’t buy the merchandise, they don’t even go to the stadium to watch the game.”
“But they expect their teams to win every match. When their teams lose, they get angry and post about it everywhere.”
However, the Crown Prince doesn’t think that the negative comments should stop. In fact, the comments are vital to tell him where and how FAM can improve.
“I can be a dictator – I can just sit there and give orders – but that’s not how it should be. Football belongs to the people.”
“That’s why I’m doing more on-the-ground events and more engagement with the fans. I always make sure I go around and meet fans. We are also holding exco meetings in different states so I can meet fans from different states.”
“Feedback is always important. If you attend my dialogue sessions, I never limit the questions, I never have officers on the ground saying you can’t ask this or that – you have complete freedom to ask me whatever you want.”
“I am the president, and I’m responsible. I’m obligated to answer all your questions.” the Crown Prince said, adding that the next EXCO meeting will probably take place in Kedah.