New president aims to ‘score big’

Triumphant: Bibi Ramjani reacting after she won the Kelantan Football Association’s presidency.

Triumphant: Bibi Ramjani reacting after she won the Kelantan Football Association’s presidency.

KOTA BARU: The country’s first woman to be elected to head a state football association will count on her business acumen to “score big”.

Bibi Ramjani Ilias Khan, who won the contest for the presidency of the Kelantan Football Associa­tion (Kafa) on Sunday, said increasing revenue would be the top priority to uplift standards.

“With my many years of experience in business, I will do my best to find ways to generate income for Kafa.

“We would appreciate ideas, support and sponsorship to help ease the association’s financial burden,” said the founder of Desa Murni Batik who also runs a real estate business.

Bibi Ramjani said the success of a football team depended on smooth teamwork at every level, including the management.

“We must work together as one team,” said the 46-year-old single mother of four who will lead Kafa for a three-year term.

Bibi Ramjani developed an interest in football when Desa Murni Batik sponsored the Kelantan and Terengganu teams back in 2013.

“It was a blessing in disguise for me as it helped to get my youngest son Firdaus, who is quiet and does not talk much, to open up.

“But he relates to football and can go on and on talking about it!” she said.

Bibi Ramjani said when she discussed her intention to contest the Kafa presidency with Firdaus, the 16-year-old expressed reservations.

“He feared people would start hurling abusive words at me if something were to go wrong,” she added.

Her three other children – Afan, 24, Faris, 17, and Umairah, 14 – have no interest in the sport.

Bibi Ramjani pledged to do her utmost to take the Red Warriors, as the Kelantan football team is known, to greater heights.

“We welcome ideas to help improve our team performance. We cannot work in silos,” she added.

Kelantan is currently ninth in the Super League with three rounds of matches remaining. The team is not yet safe from relegation as it is only a point ahead of 11th-placed Sarawak.

– The Star Online
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