|Kedah Football Supremo Ahmad Basri Dies
ALOR STAR, July 15 (Bernama) -- Former Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) vice-president, Datuk Ahmad Basri Akil, who died at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital (SBH) here Tuesday was a football personality who was looked up to.
He is believed to have suffered a heart attack at about 2.30pm at the Istana Anak Bukit while attending the launch of commemorative stamps in conjunction with the 50th Golden Jubilee of the Sultan of Kedah's reign.
Ahmad Basri, 68, who retired as Kedah State Secretary in 1996, was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
He was considered the 'father' of football development in Kedah. He built the state team to become a force in local football culminating in their winning the Malaysia Cup in 1990 by beating Singapore 3-1 in the final.
The win was especially sweet for Kedah as it last won the trophy when they beat Singapore 2-0 in the then HMS Cup in 1940.
The former Kedah Football Association (KFA) vice-president was a personality who criticised FAM and was suspended for four years and had to relinquish all posts in the national association and in KFA.
His quest to take the Kedah team to the pinnacle of football success began when he launched a five-year plan (1987-1991) to wrest the Malaysia Cup when he was KFA vice-president.
In 1987, 1988 dan 1989 Kedah lost in the Malaysia Cup finals to Kuala Lumpur but those defeats were made up for in 1990 when the Canaries defeated Singapore 3-1 in Kuala Lumpur.
As team manager, Ahmad Basri tasted success in winning the Malaysia Cup again by beating Singapore 2-0 in 1993 again in Kuala Lumpur.
He leaves behind three wives, seven children and nine grandchildren.
His first wife, Datin Wan Chik Wan Bain, said her husband did not have any illness or been treated for any serious ailment.
"He never complained about his health. I was informed that he collapsed at Istana Anak Bukit," she said when met at SBH.
The Sultan of Kedah paid his respects after the launch of the commemorative stamps.
Kedah state football players also paid their respects before their Malaysia Cup match against Sabah at the Darul Aman Stadium Tuesday night.
Wan Chik said Ahmad Basri will be buried at the Alor Merah Muslim Cemetery near here Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile in KUALA LUMPUR, FAM secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said Ahmad Basri contributed a lot to the sport as he gave constructive criticism on the quality of football although he was not involved in the association since 2006.
"We have lost a critic who developed national football. As FAM vice-president from 1994 till 1998 and KFA vice-president he contributed greatly at both national and state level," he said when contacted by Bernama here Tuesday.
Ahmad Basri was also the national team's manager in the 1989 SEA Games and Kedah manager from 1986 till 1996