FAM clear the air over manager post

KUALA LUMPUR: In January, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) announced that they were abolishing the manager position in the national football team.

So, followers of the sport were surprised to see Datuk Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Shahar being listed as Malaysia's manager during the international friendly against the Philippines on Wednesday at Singapore's National Stadium.

It turned out be a mix-up; there is no Malaysian holding the post anymore.

South Korean Kim Pan Gon, who was hired by FAM last month, is both the coach and manager.

FAM secretary general Saifuddin Abu Bakar, commenting on the mix-up, said today: "When they sent the startlist (for the friendly match), everyone (the officials in the team) was listed as the manager, including our coordinator. We told the team management there and we tried to rectify it.

"Pan Gon is the coach and team manager while Kamarul is the assistant manager. Because the FA of Singapore's startlist system is such, we asked them to leave it blank but they were unable to."

In retrospect, following Harimau Malaya's flop at the AFF Cup in December in Singapore (Malaysia failed to advance from the group stage), an independent investigation body, appointed by FAM, recommended that the posts of manager and assistant manager in the national team be scrapped while the chief coach should also be the manager.

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