Football Association of Malaysia

Football Association of Malaysia
Football Association of Malaysia
Association crest
Founded 1933
FIFA affiliation 1956
AFC affiliation 1954
President HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah
Website Official Website

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) (Malay: Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia) is the governing body for football in Malaysia, responsible for organising the Malaysian national football team and the major football and futsal tournaments within the country. The Football Association of Malaysia main headquarters is located at Wisma FAM.


Football background


Football arrived in Malaya with the British. The locals soon picked up the game, and before long it was the country's leading sport. Towards the end of the nineenth century, football was one of the central pillars of most sports clubs in Malaya. But it was not structured. Even when the Selangor Amateur Football League took shape in 1905 – which ensured proper administration and organisation – the competition was confined only to clubs in the Kuala Lumpur area.

In 1921, a national tournament featuring all the states that made up Malaya was started. The competition, known as the HMS Malaya Cup (later renamed the Malaysia Cup in 1963), has been continuously since then, except during the war years.

In 1926 the Selangor Amateur Football League was established, and in 1936 the Football Association of Selangor was formed. While the Selangor FA was moving towards organised football, and inspiring other states in Malaya to follow suit, the battleship HMS Malaya visited the country in 1920. After engaging local opposition in football and rugby, the officers and men of HMS Malaya decided to commemorate the matches by presenting trophies for annual competitions in both rugby and football in Malaya.

In 1926, the Football Association of Perak, the Football Association of Selangor, the Football Association of Negeri Sembilan, the Football Association of Malacca and the Singapore Amateur Football Association came together to form the Malayan Football Association (MFA), in order to field a Malayan team against an Australian side that visited Singapore that year.

In 1933, the MFA was revived to form the Football Association of Malaya (FAM). Initially, the FAM was based in Singapore. It was chiefly responsible for the running of the Malaya Cup competition. The annual tournament – played along inter-state lines – was a huge success.

The first president of FAM was Sir Andrew Caldecott, followed by M.B. Shelley, Dr. J.S. Webster, S.D. Scott, R. Williamson and Adrian Clark, who served up until 1940 – before Europe went on a full-scale war with Germany . In 1940, control of the FAM moved from Singapore to Malaya, with A.R. Singham becoming the first Asian secretary in 1941.

The FAM's first president after the war was J. King, to be followed by H. Byson, and then Dr. C Rawson, who served for two years before vacating for the first ever non-British personality to take over the helm. In 1951, Tunku Abdul Rahman (who was to become the first Prime Minister of Malaysia) became the FAM president. It was under Abdul Rahman that football entered in Malaysia entered its next phase, with the FAM taking a much bigger role than just being the backbone in the organisation of the Malaysia Cup.

The FAM was inducted as one of 14 founding members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1954, before becoming a full-fledged member of FIFA two years later.

After Independence

Tunku Abdul Rahman's love for the game was the main catalyst which resulted in the construction of the Merdeka Stadium and in 1957 it became hallowed ground for all Malaysians when it was the venue chosen to announce Malaysia's independence from Britain. It also signalled the birth of the Merdeka Tournament (Pestabola Merdeka), that was to all intents and purposes the centrepiece of the independence celebrations. The Merdeka Tournament proved to be a huge success, inspiring similar tournaments like the Jakarta Anniversary tournament, the King's Cup in Thailand, and President's Cup in South Korea. The inaugural tournament – then the premier football competition in Asia – was won by Hong Kong. However, Malaya won the title three years in a row, in 1958 and in 1959 ,and sharing it with South Korea in 1960. The country qualified for the 1972 Summer Olympics and the 1980 Olympics.

Following the change in name to the Football Association of Malaysia in the early 1960s, Tunku Abdul Rahman continued to play a big role in the development of the game through various youth competitions. Following his departure in 1974, the reins of the FAM was taken over by Malaysia's second Prime Minister – Tun Abdul Razak, who served for just one year. The post was then filled by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Setia Raja Hamzah Haji Abu Samah in 1976, who was the Minister for Trade and Industry at the time.

Between 1976 and 1984, various football activities were introduced under Tan Sri Datuk Seri Raja Hamzah, and Malaysian football reached a new height in the international arena following his appointment as the AFC president.

The FAM entered a new era of modernization and professionalism when His Royal Highness the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, took over. His Royal Highness was integral in the growth of football in the new era with the introduction of the semi-pro league in 1989 before the game went fully professional several years later. Among the high points in Malaysian football under His Royal Highness was the successful hosting of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, as well as the organisation of the Premier League, which has been called the Malaysian Super League since 2004.


The glory days of Malaysian football in the 1970s and 80s, when names like Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh and Soh Chin Aun would strike fear in teams all over Asia and Malaysia used to beat South Korea and Japan are gone. Football in Malaysia is in the doldrums. The pre World Cup qualifying campaign for the 2006 ended with Malaysia losing all their matches and losing to Hong Kong, ranked lower than them.

The Malaysian Super League was introduced in 2004 with the hope of raising football standards and the FAM are optimistic the league will bring Malaysia out of the international football wilderness.


The FAM after years have been subject to criticism by many including the locals. Many fans are unhappy with the ever changing league format and the decline in the standard in the local league and national team. The fact that the FAM introduces ad hoc decisions has also marred its relationship with several state affliliates. There was a stage when the FAM allowed 4 imports, but within months changed its ruling to only allowing 3 to be eligible for every affiliate, making teams loose out on compensation over termination of foreign players contracts. A recent spat over the FAM's unprofessionalism saw the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) denied its 3-1 victory for the suspicion of fielding an ineligible player due to the FAM's ruling which only came into effect after the player played put Sarawak back into rough waters with its parent body and although the player was mysteriously allowed to play after half of the season has ended, many fans are still unhappy that FAS remains the only association under the microscope of the FAM.

The FAM has also been recently underfire from the press and the local football fans due to its dismal performance in the Asian Cup where the Malaysian team lost all its games to China 5-1, Uzbekistan 5-0 and finally Iran 2-0. The FAM then "claimed" that major revamps are underway to help Malaysia raise its footballing standards.

The current FAM President has been in charge of Malaysian football for 25 years, but never has Malaysia qualified to the World Cup. The fact is that the Malaysian football standard has been in decline during his term: The last time Malaysia qualified to the Olympics, it was in 1980 - an achievement that has never been repeated. After the humiliating performance in the Asian Cup 2007, he put the blame squarely on the players, while refusing to heed the calls for him to step down and vowed to remain in the position he has occupied since 1984[1]. Instead he "demanded a full report of the matches against China and Uzbekistan" while claiming "I will not bow to pressure. I am not a coward. I am a fighter."[2]. He retained the presidency of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) at the council's elections on Sept 9 2007.[3]


Office Name Start yeartime End yeartime
President Sir Andrew Caldecott 1933
M.B. Shelley
Dr. J.S. Webster
S.D. Scott
R. Williamson
Adrian Clark 1940
J. King
H. Byson
Dr. C Rawson
Tunku Abdul Rahman 1951 1974
Tun Abdul Razak 1974 1976
Tan Sri Datuk Seri Raja Hamzah 1976 1984
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah 1984
Secretary A.R. Singham 1941
Datuk Paul Mony Samuel
Datuk Dell Akbar Khan
Datuk Ibrahim Saad 2005 2007
Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad 2007

Executive committee

  • President: His Royal Highness Sultan Ahmad Shah
  • Deputy President: Tengku Abdullah, Tan Sri Annuar Musa
  • Vice-President: Datuk Subahan Kamal, Datuk Hamidin Amin, Datuk Abdullah Hishan Mohd Hashim, Datuk Affandi Hamzah
  • General Secretary: Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad
  • Executive Committee Members:

See also


External links

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