FAM’s new integrity plan to be led by state committees

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) aims to get all its affiliates aggressively involved in its Integrity Action Plan 2022 to safeguard the sport, and those in it.

At its Integrity Committee meeting on Oct 26, members were told to come up with suggestions, which the committee would then firm up as the final plan of action before the domestic league begins next season.

Tan Sri Aseh Che Mat is chairman of the committee, while Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, Datuk Seri Azam Baki, is the deputy. Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan also attended the meeting.

FAM general-secretary Saifuddin Abu Bakar, who attended the meeting, said the top-down mentality will no longer be seen in such initiatives.

“In the past, it has always been FAM-led, with the meetings involving those at the federal level. It should rightfully be state-led,” said Saifuddin.

“Every ranking personnel from the states’ enforcement agency, will be part of the state’s integrity committee. For example, a ranking D7 officer from the state will be part of the state’s integrity committee. This will ensure there is seriousness and enforcement at the state level.”

Integrity initiatives revolving around Malaysian football in the past centred mainly on match-fixing. This was the result of the match-fixing scandal that led to the arrests, suspension and sacking of scores of footballers and officials in the country in the early 90s.

According to Sport Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), a worldwide, independent, neutral coalition led and supported by key sports stakeholders, sport integrity includes good governance, outstanding ethical conduct, accountability, compliance with local laws, and open to independent scrutiny.

Twentytwo13 is SIGA’s permanent media partner.

While match-fixing remains a global menace, poor governance, lack of ethics, and zero scrutiny on state football associations and clubs, are common problems that can lead to massive financial losses and staff not being paid their wages.

Saifuddin did not discount the possibility of more elements being included in the committee’s scope.

“It really depends on the suggestions and proposals made by the committee members. If they feel more elements should be added, then perhaps that will be the way forward. The action plan will be revealed before the new season begins.”