Who will be in Datuk Hamidin Amin’s line-up if he becomes the next Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president?
Insiders say Hamidin has a dream team in mind, comprising several familiar faces including Malaysians based abroad.
Stuart Ramalingam, the vice-president of Dentsu Sports Asia, has apparently been earmarked to replace Hamidin as general secretary while at least two Malaysians based overseas – Saifuddin Abu Bakar and Ghaz Ramli – could also make the cut.
Stuart is no stranger to Malaysian football as he was once the chief executive officer of Malaysian Super League. His brother, Kevin, is Malaysia Football League chief executive officer.
Both Stuart and Kevin, however, have had strained relationships with several stakeholders in the past. Thus it was no surprise there were many raised eyebrows when Stuart’s name cropped up.
Hamidin, however, declined to specify who could be part of his administration.
“Many have shown interest … yes, even Stuart’s name came up … and I have several candidates in mind. But it will be premature of me to say anything now until the outcome of the FAM polls,” said Hamidin who will take on Tan Sri Annuar Musa for the top post at the 54th FAM congress.
“Look, it’s not going to be Hamidin’s team or the best men for Hamidin but they (candidates) will be the best people for Malaysian football.”
Stuart called it an “honour” if he was in the list.
“I’ve had conversations with individuals (about the post) and it’s good to be considered. (The) General interest is there but I would also want to know the plans of the new president,” Stuart said.
Saifuddin, with 24 years of experience in the football industry, is the technical consultant for the Oman FA Pro-League. He was the assistant head of competition of the Qatar Stars League (2009-2012) and served as FAM assistant general secretary (2007 – 2009). Saifuddin’s contract with Oman FA ends on Aug 3.
Ghaz, based in Perth, Australia, has been the membership sales and service officer for Perth Glory Football Club since 2012. Earlier this year, he moved to Australian rules football side Fremantle Dockers, serving the membership and group ticketing team.
Saifuddin, while admitting Hamidin is the best man for the job, said he was ready to serve the nation.
“No … I’ve not been approached yet but if the terms are right, why not. I’ll be happy to return to Malaysia,” said Saifuddin.
“I’ve been in the business for 34 years. I’d be able to share my knowledge for the benefit of Malaysian football. Oman FA wants to extend my contract but I’ve not agreed to anything.”
Ghaz, a columnist with Twentytwo13, was in town for the Hari Raya break.
“It would be an honour to serve my country,” Ghaz said.