TMJ to battle ex-Kelantan boss for control of Malaysian football

The Crown Prince of Johor Tunku Sultan Ismail (TMJ) will contest the presidency of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) with Annuar Musa, the former president of Kelantan, after both men confirmed their participation.

The FAM elections are set to take place on March 25.

The election is a two-horse race after other nominees Malaysian Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and FAM integrity committee chairman Aseh Che Mat decided to pull out.

The popular Tunku Sultan Ismail now seems certain to win after confirming his intention to run for the presidency – a term that lasts four years.

Annuar, a former deputy president of the FAM, is on the comeback trail after being banned from football for 30-months after speaking to the press without permission.

TMJ is the owner of Johor Darul Ta’zim, the 2015 AFC Cup winners and defending Malaysian Super League champions.

TMJ is a well-respected figure who has transformed JDT since taking charge in 2013, leading the club to continental success in the AFC Cup and three consecutive MSL titles, while investing heavily in the club’s infrastructure and youth development setup.

He has also been an outspoken figure when it comes to the recent struggles of the Malaysian national team and has been involved in an ongoing feud with Malaysian coach Ong Kim Swee over the professionalism of the national team setup.

Several JDT players retired from international football last year shortly after TMJ claimed that the training regime at national level was doing more harm than good to the players.