|Karim (seated centre) seen speaking to reporters during the press conference yesterday. Also seen are Zaini (seated left), Liew (seated right) and others.|
KUCHING: The state government will intervene if the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) fails to find a new president.
Following its annual general meeting on Sept 17, FAS elected its new exco members but has yet to elect a president.
Former FAS president Datu Sudarsono Osman, deputy president Datu Abu Bakar Marzuki and secretary-general Abdullah Julaihi all declined to be re-elected.
Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said yesterday the search for a new president must end as FAS cannot function without a leader.
He added he understood the task of leading the most popular sports association in the state is difficult but there has got to be someone out there who could lead FAS.
One of the reasons why no one want the post is the enormous budget needed to run the association.
“FAS run on a monthly estimated budget of RM1 million and I do understand that it won’t be an easy task to find that amount.
So far a number of candidates approached by FAS have declined the offer. Abdul Karim hoped that the national body, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) would look into the problems faced Sarawak and Sabah in competing in the Malaysia league.
“While other teams will only have to travel by air twice a season, to play league matches, Sarawak have no choice to but to travel by air to Peninsular Malaysia (or Sabah) to play away matches. This incurs high cost for the team,” he said.
He said if Sarawak and Sabah continue to fork out their own money just to play away matches without the assistance of FAM, Sarawak could relook at the viability of playing in the Malaysia league.
“It is no wonder why no one dares to become FAS president for now. Whatever it is, for the good of Sarawak football, I hope that FAS will eventually find a president soon as no association can function properly without a leader,” said Abdul Karim.
He was speaking at a press conference for the coming National Sports Day (NSD 2016) celebration yesterday at the Sarawak Youth and Sports Department (JBS) Complex here.