Teong Kim wasn’t under contract with us, says FAM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) says Lim Teong Kim was dismissed as the national under-16 head coach as he was not under contract with the organisation.

FAM secretary-general Michael Stuart Ramalingam said FAM formally terminated Lim’s role after Malaysia ended their campaign at the ongoing Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-16 Championship.

“Neither he nor FAM is obligated to each other, and he is staff, appointed by the youth and sports ministry, not FAM,” Ramalingam said in a statement yesterday.

He also sought to differentiate between Lim’s release as the U-16 head coach and his role at the Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD) under the National Football Development Programme (NFDP).

“On NFDP, FAM is discussing the matter with the National Sports Council (NSC) and the ministry on its realigned direction following this result.

“Before this, FAM was never involved with or consulted in the technical elements of the programme,” he added.

Ramalingam also reaffirmed FAM’s full support for NFDP in producing a bigger talent pool of young players.

“We feel this is a great project, but we must stress the need for some realignment and adjustments to be made in order for all stakeholders to be on the same page as we strive to achieve the desired outcome,” he said.

“Let me emphasise that the decisions are made in the best interest of the development of football in Malaysia. We wish to work together with other stakeholders to create a positive and conducive environment that may have been lacking before.”

FAM decided to sack Lim after Malaysia failed to advance to the knockout stage in the AFC U-16 following a 0-2 defeat to Japan in the last preliminary match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

This caused anger among social media users who urged the organisation to reconsider its decision.