FAM polls — intrigue abounds

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INDEED the election for the president’s post in the FA of Malaysia (FAM) on Mar 25 has become as intriguing as its analogue in the political arena.

While former Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa has confirmed acceptance of his nomination, the other three — Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, Putrajaya Corporation president and FAM integrity committee chairman Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat, and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin — have yet to do so.

The deadline for acceptance is Monday and the final list of contestants is to be announced a week later.

While TMJ seems to be the choice of 14 affiliates who were granted an audience by Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar of Johor, at which they sought his approval of his son’s candidature, the latter has yet to officially submit his acceptance to FAM.

Aseh and Khairy, too, have not submitted their acceptance forms. This has caused much guessing as to what is in store.

One person who could well play ‘kingmaker’ in the polls is current secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.

It is learnt Hamidin, who has been nominated for deputy president, is withdrawing.

If that happens, a role for him as strategist comes into play, as he is expected to be retained as secretary-general by the new president who takes over from the incumbent, the Regent of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is stepping down.

Hamidin enjoys strong support from the affilliates and is poised to play an influential role in the polls.

Although 14 affiliates — Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Kedah, Perlis, Armed Forces, Malacca, Johor, Malaysian Malays Football Association, Malaysian Chinese Football Association, Malaysian Indian Sports Council and Malaysian Coaches Association — have shown support for TMJ, in FAM’s politics what is apparent is not necessarily what really pans out.

Last minute switches of allegiance are common as history has demonstrated.

Six of FAM’s 20 affiliates did not attend the gathering in Johor, namely Negri Sembilan, Kelantan, Perak, Police, Penang and Pahang.

Does that mean they do not support TMJ?

This is where Hamidin could play a key role with the camp he backs.

While several scenarios are being sketched out, an antidote for this head-twirling maneuvering was put forth by Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. A.E. Delilkan, a respected figure in Malaysian cricket and the medical profession.

He summarised his advice on sports administration in general and sports leadership as follows:

Bring meritocracy as a basis for selection of sportsmen/women to represent the nation.

Former national/international players should organise and run the game and not influential non-sportsmen/women.

Delilkan’s leadership formula for national sports associations is as follows:

For president: A respected national figure, a national leader — from royalty, politics, or philanthropy.

Purpose of the president: to attract sponsorship.

The president should not be involved in the running of the game, for example, in the selection of coaches/trainers or players to represent the country

There should be two sub-divisions
for officials:

1. Administrative chief or CEO (preferably a business personality)

To run all business aspects (funding, sponsorship)

To run organisation of sports meetings/tournaments

Should not be involved in the running of the game (selection etc)

2. Director/coordinator of the game/sport

Independent decision makers (no connection with influential personalities who might not know which end of the bat/racquet to hold or are more adept at making a racket of situations for their personal agendas.

A former sports icon (preferably a former national player/former foreign sports icon second choice)

In charge of and responsible for selection of players to represent the country, oversee selection committee comprising former national/state players

To ensure player selection based on meritocracy, oversee coaching, training, management, development programmes to maintain and improve the game.

Indeed food for thought but how many NSA’s will take heed of his advice?

TONY is a sports

journalist with close to

four decades’ experience

and is passionate about

local sports.

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