Malaysia football boss fights on

Sultan Ahmad Shah says changes are needed in Malaysian football, but he will stay.

    Malaysian football players leave the pitch after their
    5-0 loss against Uzbekistan at the Asian Cup [AFP]

    Sultan Ahmad Shah, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president, is refusing to step down despite widespread criticism of his team's poor performance at the Asian Cup.

    Malaysia, joint-hosts of the continental tournament, have played two matches in Group C based in Kuala Lumpur, losing the first 5-1 against China and the second 5-0 against Uzbekistan.

    Their final group match is arguably the toughest, as they face second-ranked Asian side Iran at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Wednesday.

    Sultan Ahmad said he would not follow in the footsteps of his son, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, who quit as deputy president on Sunday after Malaysia's five-goal thrashing at the hands of Uzbekistan.

    The FAM president said he would open an investigation as to why the national team has played so badly at a tournament which was supposed to draw focus to the development of football in Malaysia.

    "I will not bow to pressure, I am not a coward," Sultan Ahmad said in Malaysia daily newspaper The Star.

    "Who does not want the national team to do well at international matches? This is my responsibility. We will not run away. We are fighters.

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    "Yes, I have been quiet all this while. They thought I do not know anything. I love football and I am with the people. We were badly beaten," added the under-fire president.

    "I demand a full report of the matches against China and Uzbekistan from the manager and coach. I cannot take it. There will be changes."

    Azalina Othman Said, Sports and Youth Minister, called for a complete overhaul of Malaysian football.

    Malaysia can not qualify for the second round, but will be out to save face against Iran on Wednesday in an attempt to finish their tournament on a high.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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