PETALING JAYA (Malaysia) • Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim officially stepped down as the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president yesterday, exactly one year after taking the helm.
"I wish to thank all who believed in me, the sponsors and all teams who competed," the 34-year-old said in an announcement.
"Here is my letter of resignation as FAM president. Thank you Malaysian football and goodbye."
He had shocked the local football scene when he prematurely announced his intention to quit on social media on March 15 and, following his resignation, Tunku Ismail recommended that his former deputy Mohd Yusoff Mahadi step in as acting FAM chief.
Tunku Ismail added that Yusoff should lead the association until the 64th FAM congress on July 14 and put forth Hamidin Mohd Amin as the best name to take Malaysian football forward.
"In my opinion, the most qualified candidate to lead the FAM afterwards is secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, who has served Malaysian football for a long time," he said.
"If we look at (football's world governing body) Fifa, some of their presidents came from the secretary-general background because they understand football administration."
He also mentioned that he had a "very good relationship" with Hamidin, and this would facilitate the partnership between the FAM and the Malaysian Football League (MFL), of which Tunku Ismail, the owner of Johor Darul Takzim, has been appointed chairman.
"If Datuk Hamidin is voted as FAM president by affiliates, I will give my full support to him and ensure that the FAM's income is secure. I hope all affiliate members will support Datuk Hamidin as FAM president," he said.
Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin "accepted Tunku Ismail's decision to resign", saying he would continue to contribute his energy and expertise through sponsorship works and efforts to raise the professionalism of the MFL.
BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK