TMJ: Gomez may not coach Harimau Malaya due to salary dispute

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PETALING JAYA: The announcement by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim on his first day as FAM president that former Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) coach Mario Gomez will take over the national squad, may have been a little premature, a football news portal reported.

According to FourFourTwo, negotiations with the Argentinian has stalled due to disagreements over salary.

“There is a possibility Mario Gomez may not be Malaysia coach,” Tunku Ismail told sports editors and football writers in Johor yesterday.

“He wants more money than what he was getting at JDT but it may not be possible. JDT was a club and the finances were different. Here (at FAM) we are looking at ways to tighten up the finances.

“Talks are still under way. Gomez hasn’t given a yes or a no yet,” said Tunku Ismail, who is the Johor crown prince and owner of JDT.

On March 25, after taking the helm of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Tunku Ismail, or TMJ as he is popularly referred to, announced that Gomez will take over from Ong Kim Swee as the coach for the senior national squad, also known as Harimau Malaya.

Ong was to be ‘downgraded’ to coach the Under-22 national side, replacing another foreigner Frank Bernhardt.

Meanwhile, Gomez had reportedly named current Kedah coach Tan Cheng Hoe as his assistant for the national squad, with the latter having officially notified Kedah of his intention to leave.

According to FourFour Two, Tunku Ismail said Tan was shortlisted by Gomez because “he is the best local coach around”.

“It is up to Tan if Gomez doesn’t become the coach. If he still wants to be involved in the national set-up, there is a place for him,” the FAM president was quoted as saying.