THE FA of Malaysia (FAM) are now taking on a new role — as an editor.
In what could be a unprecedented departure for Malaysian sports, FAM have issued an advisory to the media to be cautious in their reports regarding a third party.
Such a ridiculous statement, when received by authentic media editors from FAM yesterday, drew sniggers and contempt.
What took the cake was FAM’s willingness to issue this statement to the Press following instructions from a third party.
Such “interference” would certainly not sit well with Fifa, which upholds the philosophy that national associations should be independent of any influence, particularly by the government.
The Guatemala FA, Tanzania Football Federation and the South African FA were the latest to receive letters from the world body reminding them about government interference.
FAM, apparently, were “instructed” by the Johor palace to issue a statement urging members of the Press to “be careful” when writing about former Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Ibrahim and that “reports concerning the Johor prince should be referred to the palace first”.
The statement, sent via email yesterday, read: “FAM noticed many reports by the media recently are based on speculations and have no basis concerning certain issues in the domestic scene.
“Certain papers have been continuously writing speculation pieces. These reports only lead to an unhealthy environment in Malaysian football.
“FAM would like to notify the media to be careful when reporting about Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Ibrahim whereby all reports about the prince have to be referred to the Johor palace first.
“FAM received this instruction from the Johor palace today (yesterday).” Mind-blowing indeed.
For the record, FAM had referred to Tunku Ismail as Johor FA president as the national body have not been notified in writing about the Johor prince’s decision to quit the hot seat.
Tunku Ismail, had in a statement circulated to members of the Press on April 3, relinquished his position with state secretary Datuk Obet Tawil named as president with immediate effect.
However, Tunku Ismail will continue as Johor FA patron.
Sports journalists and observers didn’t mince their words when commenting about the statement on social media. Some poked fun while others viewed it as a serious interference which FAM condoned.
Would FAM issue a similar statement if the Sports Ministry or a Cabinet minister had demanded a similar request?
Can members of the media “instruct” FAM to provide us with real time results of the M-League, updates on the national team enjoying stints abroad and demand for the abolishment of Article 88 so that coaches, officials and players will be able to talk to us without fear?
COMMENT Ha ha ha bloody ha. Viva FAM, Long Live FAM Presidente, all bow down to FAM. The Mighty FAM.