Annuar withdrawal set to result in tough battle for FAM deputy president’s posts
WITH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim having secured the FA of Malaysia’s president’s post even before today’s congress in Petaling Jaya, attention turns to who will be his two deputies.
Three candidates are vying to be second-in-command to president-in-waiting Tunku Ismail, including incumbent Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah, who faces a battle to remain in office against Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal and Datuk Yusoff Mahadi.
The other deputy president, Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad, chose not to defend his post.
Former Kelantan FA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa’s withdrawal from the president’s contest on Thursday, which handed Tunku Ismail victory, could have an effect on how the election plays out on not just the two deputy president positions but also for the four vice-presidents posts.
Sources say the camp which had been set to vote for Annuar is now in disarray, with Annuar himself saying he did not consult his supporters in making his decision to pull out of the race.
This could have repercussions for Afandi, who is the acting Kelantan FA president, and Kelantan FA vice-president Datuk Rosmadi Ismail, one of eight candidates looking to become FAM vice-president.
One FAM affiliate is even split down the middle in its support for various candidates and may now be looking to change its delegates now that Annuar has withdrawn.
The affiliate had been a keen Annuar backer but its’ president has now been left with a sense of betrayal and may not even attend today’s congress.
“Annuar’s supporters must now think carefully of who they want to vote for. Their original plan has gone out of the window now that Annuar has withdrawn,” said one candidate, who declined to be identified for fear of jeopardising his own chances.
“They could instead reach a compromise, for example, by throwing all their support behind either Afandi or Rosmadi, but not both.”
The believe is that with Tunku Ismail certain to become president, the Johor Crown Prince’s backers will overwhelmingly vote for those seen as capable of working well with the incoming FAM boss.
This could well see Malacca FA deputy president Yusoff, a longtime ally of Tunku Ismail, handily win one of the deputy president posts and leave Afandi battling it out with new FA of Selangor president Subahan for the other seat.
But if the last election in 2014 is any indicator, the outcome will be difficult to predict.
Subahan lost a three-way battle for the two deputy president posts in 2014 by a single vote to Mokhtar, who in turn polled one vote less than Afandi.
Meanwhile, Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharudin has chosen not to defend his vice-president’s post, thus reducing the field to eight candidates.
Zainol, who stepped down as Perak FA president in 2015, said he made the decision to make way for others to make a contribution in FAM.
Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim will become FAM president today.