Tony Fernandes: 'I've not earned the right to be FAM president'

The airline magnate concedes his lack of experience in Malaysian football will be a hindrance, should he contest for the post of FAM president.

AirAsia Berhad Group CEO Tony Fernandes has downplayed talks of his bid for the post of Malaysian FA (FAM) president, citing his inexperience with Malaysian football.

When met by the press on Tuesday following a press conference announcing his club AirAsia FC's rebranding to Petaling Jaya Rangers, Fernandes explained that he wants to do more in Malaysian football first.

"I don't think I've earned the right to be FAM president. I think I got to do something in local football first. If we develop something special with PJ Rangers, then maybe.

"But right now, I don't think I know enough about local football and I don't think it's right for me to be FAM president right now," explained the entreprenuer.

Fernandes, who is also the chairman of English Championship side Queens Park Rangers, also intimated his hope regarding the next person to hold the post, that he is someone who is experienced about Malaysian football.

"I hope the president of FAM is someone who has contributed to football. Not just someone they just parachute in. It must be someone who really understand football and develop football. Malaysians players are as good as anybody. We took U16 teams that beats Manchester United. We have good enough players. 

"It's about the administration and development, something seems to be missing. It has to be someone who really wants the job, passionate about the job, who will give it 24/7 and will be strong enough to stand all the politics to do what's right for football," said Fernandes.

Fernandes' AirAsia just missed out on promotion to the Malaysian second tier this year, when they were knocked out of the FAM Cup at the semi-final stage.

The next FAM congress is expected to be held in March 2017, with several names already rumoured to contest for the post.