Malaysia's club versus country row, involving Johor's Crown Prince, fell to a new low after the Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) boss lambasted troubled national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, whom he believes will not improve the team.
TMJ, as the Prince is widely known, also defended his decision to withdraw the JDT II trio of Darren Lok, Irfan Fazail and Zaquan Adha from national training this week, claiming he was looking to make a statement to the governing body.
"I wanted to teach FAM a lesson to follow rules stated by FIFA. They wanted players to train for a longer duration to be better under the management of Ong Kim Swee." said TMJ through the Southern Tigers' Facebook page.
"Even if players trained for four months in the national team, they will still continue to play with that similar style. That's the level of quality Ong Kim Swee has," said TMJ, who also hinted that the national boss won't be around in 2017.
"If there is a foreign coach with records of success, I will allow my players to train with him, because I know they can learn under him."
The row with FAM worsened in July when the JDT quartet of Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan, Amirulhadi Zainal and S. Kunanlan abruptly announced their international retirements after returning from the Oceania tour the previous month.
In August, new recruit Dominic Tan, from JDT II, was asked to return to the club, in between two Sha Alam friendlies against the Bahrain Under-22 side.
Despite the frosty relations, Kim Swee continued to rely on Johor's two squads, selecting three players from both JDT and JDT II for the friendlies against Singapore (Oct. 7) and Afghanistan (Oct. 11).
Among them was England-born striker Lok, drafted into the national squad, despite only 45 minutes of action with JDT II in the Malaysia Premier League.
The national side are looking at new options, having won only three of nine games in 2016.
TMJ has made it clear that he won't be doing Harimau Malaysia any favours.
"My players will only report to the national team four days before the match as stated by Fifa's regulation. End of story," he said.