Football Association of Malaysia

Football Association of Malaysia
Founded 1933 (1933)
FIFA affiliation 1954
AFC affiliation 1954[1]
AFF affiliation 1984
President Tengku Abdullah

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) (Malay: Persatuan Bola Sepak Malaysia) is the governing body for responsible for organising the Malaysian national football team within the country. The Football Association of Malaysia headquarters is located at Wisma FAM.

Football background


Football arrived in Malaya with the British. The locals soon picked up the game, and before long it was the country's leading sport. Towards the end of the 19th century, football was one of the central pillars of most sports clubs in Malaya. But it was not structured. Even when the Selangor Amateur Football League took shape in 1905 – which ensured proper administration and organisation – the competition was confined only to clubs in the Kuala Lumpur.[2]

In 1920, the battleship HMS Malaya visited the country. After engaging local opposition in football and rugby, the officers and men of HMS Malaya decided to commemorate the matches by presenting trophies for annual competitions in both rugby and football in Malaya.

In 1921, a national tournament featuring all the states that made up Malaya was started. The competition, known as the Malaya Cup (later renamed the Malaysia Cup in 1963), has been continuously since then, except during the war years.

In 1926 the Selangor Amateur Football League was established, and in 1936 the Football Association of Selangor was formed and this association soon started organizing tournaments and this inspired other states in Malaya to follow suit.

In 1926, the Football Associations of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and the Singapore Amateur Football Association, came together to form the Malayan Football Association (MFA), in order to field a Malayan team against an Australia side that visited Singapore that year.

In 1933, the MFA was revived to form the Football Association of Malaya (FAM). Initially, the FAM was based in Singapore. It was chiefly responsible for the running of the Malaya Cup competition. The annual tournament played along inter-state lines was a huge success.

The first president of FAM was Sir Andrew Caldecott followed by M.B. Shelley, Dr. J.S. Webster, S.D. Scott, R. Williamson and Adrian Clark, who served up until 1940 before Europe went on a full-scale war with Germany . In 1940, control of the FAM moved from Singapore to Malaya, with A.R. Singham becoming the first Asian secretary in 1941.

The FAM's first president after the war was J. E King, to be followed by H.P Byson, and then Dr. C Rawson, who served for two years before vacating for the first ever non-British personality to take over the helm.

In 1951, Tunku Abdul Rahman (who was to become the first Prime Minister of Malaysia) became the FAM president. It was under Tunku Abdul Rahman that football in Malaysia entered its next phase, with the FAM taking a much bigger role than just being the backbone in the organisation of the Malaysia Cup.

The FAM was inducted as one of 14 founding members of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in 1956, before becoming a full-fledged member of FIFA two years later.

After independence

Tunku Abdul Rahman's love for the game was the main catalyst which resulted in the construction of the Merdeka Stadium and in 1957 it became hallowed ground for all Malaysians when it was the venue chosen to announce Malaysia's independence from Britain.

It also signaled the birth of the Merdeka Tournament (Pestabola Merdeka), that was to all intents and purposes the centre piece of the independence celebrations.

The Merdeka Tournament proved to be a huge success, inspiring similar tournaments like the Jakarta Anniversary tournament, the King's Cup in Thailand and President's Cup in South Korea. The inaugural tournament then the premier football competition in Asia was won by Hong Kong.

However, Malaya won the title three years in a row, in 1958 and in 1959, and sharing it with South Korea in 1960. The country qualified for the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

Following the change in name to the Football Association of Malaysia in the early 1960s, Tunku Abdul Rahman continued to play a big role in the development of the game through various youth competitions.

Following his departure in 1974, the reins of the FAM was taken over by Malaysia's second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak, who served for just one year. The post was then filled by Tan Sri Datuk Seri Setia Raja Hamzah Haji Abu Samah in 1976, who was the Minister for Trade and Industry at the time.

Between 1976 and 1984, various football activities were introduced under Tan Sri Datuk Seri Raja Hamzah, and Malaysian football reached a new height in the international arena following his appointment as the AFC president.

The FAM entered a new era of modernization and professionalism when His Royal Highness the Sultan of Pahang, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah took over.

His Royal Highness was integral in the growth of football in the new era with the introduction of the semi-pro league in 1989 before the game went fully professional several years later. However success on the football field for the national team wasn't forthcoming.

Among the high points in Malaysian football under His Royal Highness was the successful hosting of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, as well as the organization of the Premier League, which has been called the Malaysia League (M-League) since 2004.Among the low point the National teams suffered defeats never seen before at international stage

During the glory days of Malaysian football in the 1970s and 80s, names like Mokhtar Dahari, Santokh Singh and Soh Chin Aun would strike fear in teams all over Asia.

Associations Affiliation

State Football Association is the governing body of football for the states in Malaysia. The state FAs are responsible for coordinating football league and developing football in the their region and also made up the structure of FAM as the official governing body of football in Malaysia.

There are 20 Football Associations affiliated to the FAM. Besides the 14 FAs with regional location, six others are affiliated units.[3]

State affiliation

  • Perlis Perlis Football Association (PFA)
  • Penang Football Association of Penang (FAP)
  • Kedah Kedah Football Association (KFA)
  • Perak Perak Football Association (PAFA)
  • Selangor Football Association of Selangor (FAS)
  • Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur Football Association (KLFA)
  • Negeri Sembilan Negeri Sembilan Football Association (PBNS)
  • Malacca Melaka United Soccer Association (MUSA)
  • Johor Johor Football Association (PBNJ)
  • Kelantan Kelantan Football Association (KAFA)
  • Terengganu Terengganu Football Association (PBSNT)
  • Pahang Pahang Football Association (Pahang FA)
  • Sarawak Football Association of Sarawak (F.A.S.)
  • Sabah Sabah Football Association (SAFA)

Affiliation units

  • Malaysia Malaysian Malays Football Association (PBMM)
  • Malaysia Malaysian Chineese Football Association (MCFA)
  • Malaysia Malaysian Indian Sports Council (MISC-MIFA)
  • Malaysia Royal Malaysian Police Football Association (PDRM FA)
  • Malaysia Malaysian Armed Forces Football Association (ATM FA)
  • Malaysia Football Coaches Association of Malaysia

The State Associations have their own constitution and structure. During the early amateur era of Malaysian football, most of the state FAs was made up of small organization with only some bigger states have an active football league while the smaller FAs will send a team to compete in Malaya Cup.[4][5][6]

Depending on the size of the state, the State Associations have district associations affiliated to them. Clubs are directly affiliated to the State Football Association alongside District Football Association.

Each State conducts its own competitions. Competitions are at state level where the winners will have a chances to be nominated by their state FAs for promotion to Malaysia FAM League.[7] There are also inter-district competitions such as Liga Bolasepak Rakyat.


The Football Association of Malaysia formerly runs all top football competitions in Malaysia before some of it was given to Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) as one of a privatisation effort for a professional football in Malaysia. The list below are the said competitions which now managed by FMLLP:[8][9]

FAM will now focus on development of the lower tier of Malaysian Leagues and tournaments:[10]


Office Name Tenure
President Sir Andrew Caldecott 1933
M.B. Shelley
Dr J.S. Webster
S.D. Scott
R. Williamson
J.E. King 1927
Adrian Clark ????−1940
H.P. Byson 1948
Dr C. Rawson
Tunku Abdul Rahman 1958–1974
Tun Abdul Razak 1975–1976
Tan Sri Datuk Hamzah Abu Samah 1976–1983
Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah 1984–2014
Tengku Abdullah Ibni Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah 2014–Present
Office Name Tenure
General Secretary A.R. Singham 1941
Datuk Kwok Kin Keng 1948–1979
Dato' T.P. Murugasu 1980–1987
Dato' Paul Mony Samuel 1988–2000
Dato' Dell Akbar Khan
Dato' Ibrahim Saad 2005–2007
Dato' Azzuddin Ahmad 2007–2013
Dato' Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin 2007–2013

Standing committees


Executive committee


Finance and management

National teams management

Malaysia national football team

Malaysia national under-22 football team

Malaysia national under-19 football team

Malaysia national under-16 football team

Local competitions

International competitions

FAM Club licensing department

FAM Club Licensing Department will be handling all the related football clubs licensing matters for football clubs in Malaysia to participating in Malaysia Super League, Malaysia Premier League, Malaysia FAM League, Malaysia FA Cup and Malaysia Cup tournaments.[12] It also can get the football clubs to participating in AFC Champions League and AFC Cup tournaments.[12] The FAM Club Licensing Department will issuing two documents for club licensing, namely:-


FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has sanctioned the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) after serious crowd disturbances led to the abandonment of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia qualifying match between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia on Saturday 8 September. After analysis of all the circumstances of the matter, in particular, the match officials’ reports, FAM’s positions as well as the relevant videos and pictures, and due to the seriousness of the incidents, the Disciplinary Committee decided that the next home match of the ‘A’ representative team of Malaysia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition (Malaysia v UAE on 17 November 2015) will be played without spectators. The committee also decided to impose a fine of CHF 40,000 (RM 180,000) and issue FAM with a warning. Furthermore, the Disciplinary Committee decided that the match be declared to be lost by forfeit by Malaysia (0–3).

See also


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