FAM is being criticized for penalizing coach Datuk K Rajagopal using the infamous Article 88. Soccer fans are calling for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) President to step down, and some are even saying FAM is responsible for the state soccer is in on a national basis.
Many soccers fan were irked by the FAM decision to penalize Datuk K Rajagopal using the Article 88 rule, which states that only the FAM president and general secretary are allowed to comment on the performance of the national soccer team to the media. Rajagopal spoke out againt the lack of local strikers in the M-League and this statement was construed as criticism of the national league, earning the wrath of the FAM disciplinary committee.
Khairy Jamaluddin, a former FAM deputy president, spoke out against FAM for being “too sensitive” when dealing with criticism:
“It was just an opinion and I think there was no harm in it or (any desire) to undermine the policy. I think the FAM is sending out the wrong message to everyone. Just look at the EPL (English Premier League), how (Manchester United manager Alex) Ferguson and (Arsenal manager Arsene) Wenger express themselves. FAM should give more freedom because the people within are no enemy of the FAM. It is sad that even the national coach is not spared … to listen to his professional views.”
Khairy says that if he “were still in FAM [he] would not have supported Article 88.” Khairy says he might have even been disciplined himself.
Meanwhile, according to Yahoo News soccer fans are calling for the resignation of FAM President Sultan Ahmad Shah for five reasons:
“FAM’s insistence that the FIFA rankings are not important, an uncompetitive domestic league that does not improve the quality of the local footballers, the lack of accountability in management and fairness in handing out punishments, the lack of a clear direction in guiding the national team’s future, and most importantly the ‘trigger-happy’ use of Article 88 by FAM to silence criticism to and by its own members.”
What do you think about the FAM Article 88 rule that can silence any soccer critics?