Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman made it clear that Lim Teong Kim needs to take responsibility for Malaysia's failure to qualify for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The young Tigers were knocked out of the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship on Thursday after losing 2-0 to Japan, ending their dream of going to Peru next year.

After being dismissed as the national U-16 head coach by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Lim, who is also director of the National Football Development Programme, could be in line for more backlash, judging from the Youth and Sports Minister's comments after the national team's exit.

"One of the main KPIs set by Lim Teong Kim himself was to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup, but following the defeat [to Japan], the mission has ended.

"I don't blame the young players, who did their best, but at the same time for Malaysian football fans, there must be some level of accountability, which will fall on the shoulders of the NFDP higher-ups.

"I would like to inform everyone that Safirul Abu Bakar [CEO of NFDP] has taken his own initiative to be held accountable and handed in his resignation letter.

"Whether to accept his resignation or not, I will discuss with the National Sports Council, NFDP and FAM first as well as on how to restructure the NFDP's direction to achieve its goals.

"LTK [Lim Teong Kim] must also take responsibility especially as the main person for the U-16 team.

"He is getting paid a tax-free salary of RM175,000 per month, an amount of money that we do not take very lightly.

"I think we must review and reevaluate his contract as well as the NFDP higher-ups'. Things must change," said Syed Saddiq.

He also added that Lim's contract is until 2020.

At the same time. despite the AFC U-16 failure, Syed Saddiq defended the NFDP initiative, believing it can be improved for Malaysian football's benefits.

"At its core and heart, it is a good programme.

"It is very structured and focuses on grassroots development around Malaysia.

"I believe it just needs a restructuring exercise and more discussions with stakeholders," he said.