Featured, Football

TMJ announces huge change immediately after taking over FAM presidency

Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim officially became the new Football Association of Malaysia president earlier today, and it was obvious that the man is determined to get started on his role immediately as he announced a huge change to the existing national team structure.

The Johor Crown Prince looked dapper as he arrived in Kuala Lumpur today, before he went on to confirm that former JDT head coach Mario Gomez would be drafted in to become the next national team boss, which officially ends Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s stint in charge of Harimau Malaysia.


“I already have Mario Gomez in place to replace Datuk Ong Kim Swee. Then, Datuk Ong Kim Swee will be going to the under-23 team for now and Mario Gomez will have his team of assistants – I’ll give him the freedom to make the choice,” TMJ told reporters in a press conference at Hilton Hotel in Petaling Jaya today.

“But I’ll closely monitor the team’s performance and if there’s an improvement in how we play as a unit, then he can continue being there. If it’s not up to the mark, then we have to change.

“That said, we have to think carefully before implementing changes as well. We still have coaches who are under contract. To replace them, we will need to pay them. Which is why money is my priority for the time being.

“I need to know how much we have in FAM’s official bank account. I will have my people to come in and do the auditing, hopefully by this coming week,” he added.


This doesn’t come as a major surprise, given TMJ had already hinted at the possibility of this change materialising, back in February. If anything, it’s slightly odd – Gomez did after all get sacked by JDT for not being ‘good enough’. If he isn’t good enough for the best club in Malaysian football, why would he be the right man for Harimau Malaysia?

Having said that, there’s no denying the fact that Gomez’s track record with JDT is outstanding. He guided them to two consecutive Malaysia Super League titles, besides inspiring them to that historic AFC Cup triumph in Dushanbe, back in 2015. At the same time, JDT began playing an impressive brand of football under his tutelage – one that allowed the club to remain unbeaten in the MSL, last year.

On paper, he’s definitely an upgrade to Datuk Ong Kim Swee, which is probably what the national team needs at this juncture. Gomez could be the right guy to come in, stabilize the team, and improve its fortunes on the international stage from a short-term perspective, while the bigger changes are being implemented across the board.

What do you think of this appointment? Are you excited for the new era of Malaysian football under TMJ’s leadership?

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