'It's just a waste of time'

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but burning my effigy does not scare me.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad told The New Paper yesterday that he is unfazed by some Kelantan fans' antics of burning a straw figure bearing his picture.

"I am not affected at all," the 65-year-old scoffed.

"You must know my background. I'm a soldier. I'm used to this type of criticism. It's just a waste of time."

Azzuddin, a battle-hardened, retired lieutenant-general in the Malaysian Armed Forces, assumed his current role in the FAM in 2007.

Before Kelantan's Malaysian Super League game against T-Team last Saturday, about 100 of the Red Warriors' fans gathered as three effigies were burnt.

One featured the picture of Azzuddin, another was of Berita Harian Malaysia journalist Wan Fakhrul Wan Bakar, and the third had a question mark.

The Kelantan fans were angry that the FAM suspended its football association president Tan Sri Annuar Musa for 30 months due to his out-of-turn comments about the Malaysian national team.

Khairi Yazid, president of Kelantan fan club kelate.net - which was not involved in the demonstration - explained the fans' anger towards Azzuddin and Fakhrul.

"A lot of fans are upset with Fakhrul because his articles about Kelantan always have a negative slant," said Khairi.

"And as for Azzuddin, he always practises double standards when dealing with cases involving Kelantan, as opposed to those of other teams."

Fakhrul, 29, told TNP that he was shaken by the event, but will lie low to avoid worsening the situation.

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