Football: Malaysian body appeals for chance to take country back to glory days

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Deputy President Afandi Hamzah addressing the media in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sept 11, 2015.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Deputy President Afandi Hamzah addressing the media in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Sept 11, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia's embattled football body appealed to be given a chance to take the country back to the "glory days" on Friday after a fan revolt halted a World Cup qualifier, triggering a Fifa probe.

Fury over last week's record 10-0 defeat, the worst in a series of poor results, boiled over in Tuesday's game against Saudi Arabia which was abandoned when fans fired smoke-billowing flares at the pitch.

The president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has already promised to step down "in stages" but no further resignations were announced after an executive committee meeting on Friday.

"We know football fans are disappointed with what is happening to Malaysian football and the incident (at the qualifying match)," FAM deputy president Afandi Hamzah told reporters.

"Hence, at this meeting we decided that we need to bring back Malaysian football to its glory days" with a greater focus on developing grassroots talent, enhancing local leagues and improving FAM itself, he said.

A task force would meet next week to look into the matter, Afandi added.

It remains to be seen how Afandi's announcement will go down with critics, including increasingly impatient and assertive fan groups.