Johor Crown Prince slams state of Malaysian football after Kelantan's FA Cup defeat to LionsXII

The LionsXII players celebrating with the Malaysian FA Cup after they beat Kelantan 3-1 in the final at Bukit Jalil Stadium on May 23, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
The LionsXII players celebrating with the Malaysian FA Cup after they beat Kelantan 3-1 in the final at Bukit Jalil Stadium on May 23, 2015. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor, has likened the LionsXII's historic Malaysian FA Cup victory over Kelantan, to a "Scotland under-23 team defeating Manchester United".

The LionsXII's 3-1 win over cup favourites Kelantan - thanks to a brilliant two-goal cameo from striker Sahil Suhaimi - earned the Singapore side the distinction of becoming the first foreign team to lift the trophy.

The outspoken prince made his comments in a post in Malay, which was also translated to English, on the Johor Southern Tigers' Facebook page titled "BIG SLAP ON FAM'S FACE" late on Saturday night.

 

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TAMPARAN HEBAT KEPADA FAMTahniah Lions XII. Bukan sahaja telah melayakkan diri untuk perlawanan akhir Piala FA, tetapi...

Posted by JOHOR Southern Tigers on Saturday, May 23, 2015

He took the opportunity to congratulate the LionsXII, while lambasting the state of his country's football scene.

Laying the blame on the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), he wrote: "The match tonight shows that Lions XII not only played against the best Malaysian Football team with the support of four foreign players, but also against the referee and the system, which is the FAM.

"It's blatantly obvious from the game tonight that the standard of football in Malaysian Football is still lacking. Lions 12's victory tonight is similar to a Scotland under-23 team defeating Manchester United or any other big English clubs."

The post has since garnered more than 17,000 likes and has been shared more than 1,100 times.

Tunku Ismail, who is also president of the Johor Football Association, has been openly critical of the sport's national body, and has had several run-ins with the FAM in the past.

He recently added his voice to an ongoing protest against the May 27 match between the Malaysian football team and English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, which many believe will be disruptive to the national team's preparation for tournaments such as the upcoming SEA Games and 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

mklee@sph.com.sg