Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Fandi relieved of duties as Johor coach

SINGAPORE — Fandi Ahmad’s involvement with Johor football looks to be heading for a close after news broke early yesterday morning that he has been relieved of his coaching duties with Malaysian Super League (MSL) side Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) with immediate effect.

SINGAPORE — Fandi Ahmad’s involvement with Johor football looks to be heading for a close after news broke early yesterday morning that he has been relieved of his coaching duties with Malaysian Super League (MSL) side Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) with immediate effect.

Headlined “Fandi sacked by Southern Tigers”, the Monday night report on Malaysian sports portal sports247.my, cited sources confirming the 51-year-old’s removal from his coaching role, while still remaining as team manager. Fandi could not be reached for comment.

This latest development comes nearly two weeks after it was reported that Johor Football Association (FA) President Ismail Ibrahim, who is also the Johor Crown Prince, has signed Spaniard Cesar Ferrando Jimenez as head coach of JDT.

TODAY reported on July 25 that Fandi had been redesignated as the team’s assistant coach and that the Spanish trio of Jimenez; Juan Manuel Lillo Diaz, who will be the new technical director; and a physical trainer whose name has not been revealed, will start work on Aug 18, a day after the Malaysia Cup season kicks off.

Several Facebook pages dedicated to the Johor side have said Azmi Mohamed — from the state’s second-tier Malaysian Premier League team Johor FA — will take temporary charge of JDT in their preparations for the Malaysia Cup campaign.

Signed on initially as technical adviser for Johor FA in February last year, Fandi later assumed managerial and coaching duties for the team. The side eventually finished fourth in the 2012 season.

A realignment of teams representing Johor saw him taking over as head coach and manager of MSL side JDT, renamed from Johor FC.

Bankrolled by the Crown Prince, the team splurged on big-name foreign signings such as former Spain striker Daniel Guiza and ex-Lazio midfielder Simone del Nero, as well as a host of Malaysian internationals, including Safee Sali, Safiq Rahim, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, the Abdul Radzak twins, Aidil Zafuan and Zaquan Adha.

Despite challenging the LionsXII for the league title, late-season hiccups saw JDT eventually finishing third. They were pipped by Selangor on goal difference to the runners-up spot — a result which cost them a place in next season’s Asian Football Confederation Cup. The team also lost 1-0 to Kelantan in the Malaysian FA Cup final last month.

The late season stutters are seen to be the main contributing factors to Fandi’s fall from grace, although he has only served half of a reported three-year contract so far.

The news that the Singapore football icon had been redesignated from his initial appointment of head coach has surprised some key members of the local footballing fraternity.

Former national team captain Terry Pathmanathan said: “Fandi has done reasonably okay, considering he reached the finals of the FA Cup and came in third in the league. So, I was a little shocked by the news.

“He has always done an honest job, even if results do not always go his way. He had a patchy time there, with huge pressure to deliver on his shoulders. I guess he has not lived up to expectations.”

Former SAFFC head coach Richard Bok also sympathised with Fandi’s plight.

“Fandi did what he could, but what can he do? This is a results- oriented business, especially with the amount of resources that Johor Darul Takzim has invested in. The big name players he signed just failed to gel quickly and he has been caught in the line of fire.”

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa