After saying goodbye to FAM, Tunku Ismail now MFL chairman

Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim says he brought in many sponsors during his one year at FAM. (Facebook pic)

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim today confirmed he had resigned as the president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) at the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) congress held here.

At the same function, he was officially appointed as chairman of Malaysia Football League (MHL), which is the new name for FMLLP under its rebranding exercise.

Tunku Ismail, who held the post of FAM president for a year, confirmed he had sent his letter to resign with immediate effect to FAM secretary-general Hamidin Mohd Amin.

When announcing the matter, the Tunku Mahkota of Johor said after leading FAM for one year, he had brought new structural and system changes into the country’s football governing body, including holding a regular exco meeting in each state.

“If we look, I have brought in many sponsors. For the first time in history, each team competing in the Super League received almost RM3 million as well as RM1 million for each Premier League team. God willing, this will increase.

“If seen from the structural aspect and relations with fans, we have improved.

“We can see the national Under-23, U-19 and U-16 squads are showing excellent performance and have qualified for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup for the first time,” he said.

Tunku Ismail said he was always evaluated through the performance of the national team but he did not blame the supporters as many parties saw him as a rival.

“Many see me not as FAM president but as Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner. The strongest team in the country … and many see me as a competitor,” said Tunku Ismail.

Tunku Ismail had expressed his decision to lead FAM for a year to Hamidin before.

However, Hamidin later requested Tunku Ismail to reconsider his decision and to lead FAM for one term instead of one year.

Meanwhile, FMLLP chief executive officer Kevin Ramalingam said the appointment of Tunku Ismail as MFL chairman was effective from today.

According to him, the unanimous decision was made by all 24 shareholders of the organisation.

Apart from that, the congress held today also agreed to make MFL as a neutral body and not linked to FAM.

“The selection of Tunku Ismail as chairman of MFL was made based on his position as the owner of JDT and not through a post in FAM.

“All 24 shareholders also agreed to redraft the existing constitution to raise the quality and image of the league and the local football industry,” said Kevin.

He added the name change and rebranding exercise would be completed in 90 days.