July 16, 2007 / 10:31 AM / 12 years ago

Soccer-Malaysian minister demands new blood to change fortunes

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 (Reuters) - Malaysia’s sports minister wants to see sweeping changes in the organsition of soccer in the Southeast Asian nation following the co-host’s poor performances in the Asian Cup.

Malaysia suffered a 5-1 defeat to China in their opening Group C fixture and were then thrashed 5-0 by Uzbekistan on Sunday to crash out of the 16-nation tournament they are hosting along with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The losses led to the resignation of Football Association of Malaysia deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on Sunday and Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister, Azalina Othman Said, believes new blood is needed to improve the situation.

Azalina was quoted by state news agency Bernama on Monday as saying provincial officials who did nothing should consider giving up their posts.

“Some state FA heads and officials have been holding on to their posts for too long without any significant contribution towards the development of football in the country,” she said.

“They should make way for energetic young professionals.”

Abdullah held the deputy president’s post since 1994 until his resignation, which is expected to prompt other leading officials to step down.

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