Kuala Lumpur, May 22 (IANS) Malaysia’s seventh King and football veteran Sultan Ahmad Shah passed away here on Wednesday at the age of 88.
Ahmad Shah was also the fifth Sultan of Malaysia’s central Pahang state.
The state’s Chief Minister Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said in a statement that Ahmad Shah died at the National Heart Institute in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday morning, according to state news agency Bernama.
Born in 1930, Ahmad Shah was proclaimed the fifth Sultan of Pahang in 1974. He became the seventh Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or the supreme head of state from 1979 to 1984.
Ahmad Shah’s name “is synonymous with football as his deep interest in the game resulted in him devoting himself tirelessly to the development of national football”, Bernama said in an obituary.
He held the presidency of the Football Association of Malaysia for two decades and was the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) from 1994 to 2002.
Ahmad Shah abdicated in January as Sultan of Pahang due to ill health in favour of his son Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah. Abdullah later became Malaysia’s 16th King, who functions as the nation’s constitutional monarch.
Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with nine sultans, who head their respective states and act as religious leaders, taking turns to serve as King for a five-year term.