There is no need for Johor regent Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim to debate with Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin about the national football team, said Umno information chief Annuar Musa.
Instead, the Ketereh MP, who is also Kelantan Football Association president, said Tunku Ismail should be allowed to helm the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), which is currently under the leadership of Pahang crown prince Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.
Annuar said this was because the debate would not yield any results for Malaysian football but placing FAM under the stewardship of Tunku Ismail would.
"For me, it is not an issue about debating but about what FAM will do. Even if we talk about it, the power over national football is under one body (FAM).
"If anyone debates and all FAM does is listen (without doing anything), there will be no results.
"Which is why think the best move is to change the FAM leadership and pass it to Tunku Ismail," he was quoted as saying by Berita Harian today.
He added that FAM, as the main authority for football in Malaysia, failed to draw up a long term plan for the sport even though the Youth and Sports Ministry had taken the initiative to do so.
On April 13, Tunku Ismail, who owns the Johor Darul Ta'zim Football Club, had requested a televised debate with Khairy on the issue.
This was after Tunku Ismail criticised the minister for blaming national players for the team’s worst ranking in history, at 174th place.
Khairy contended that the players had reached their peak and could no longer improve, adding that the focus should shift to younger players.
Khairys’ relationship with FAM has also been uncomfortable and the minister had set up a National Football Development Programme to train a new breed of footballers.