Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Minister of Youth and Sports, apologized to all Malaysians for a remark he made in a viral video yesterday regarding “adding” teams to the Super League next season.
He also apologized to Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), and Stuart Ramalingam, secretary-general of the FAM, for mentioning their names in the video that caused outrage recently on social media.
“I released the statement in error. As a result, I would want to express my regret to all Malaysians for the mistake. Alhamdulillah, I have learned from my error prior to formally commencing my responsibilities.
“As a minister today, I need to understand what should and should not be stated. Insya Allah, I assure all Malaysians and sports fans that I would work diligently with Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker and my ministry colleagues to enhance the quality of sports, rather than wasting time on talking politics and trivial matters,” he added.
After his and Ti’s reporting for duty at Menara KBS, he held a press conference in which he stated his position on the matter.
Ahmad Faizal just recently stated in a video that Perak FC, which is presently facing relegation from the Super League, would have a chance to stay in the first division if the number of participating teams were raised from 16 to 21.
Stuart, who will take over as Malaysia Football League (MFL) chief executive officer, denied discussing the matter, while MFL president Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said that the Malaysia League’s promotion and relegation structure will stay unchanged.
If the government interferes with the administration of FAM, the organization may be suspended by Fifa. Ahmad Faizal also promised to collaborate with all stakeholders to enhance the overall standard of Malaysian football, especially at the grassroots level.