Mara chairperson Annuar Musa has denied that the federal agency's funds were channeled to the Kelantan football team, known as The Red Warriors (TRW).
Earlier, the Umno information chief told Malaysiakini that he did not wish to respond to the allegation by Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
"Do I have to respond to silly arguments?" he had asked in a Whatsapp message, but latter issued a denial on his Facebook page.
"Mara did not even spend a single sen to sponsor TRW. Mara's 50th anniversary logo was emblazoned on the sleeves of TRW jerseys free of charge, though it would usually cost RM250,000. It was a gesture of respect to Mara from TRW," he explained.
He also explained that UniKL is a private company, and never sponsored or gave scholarships to its students, so the matter of using scholarship funds to sponsor TRW never arose.
"UniKL has long been involved in branding and marketing through sports, especially in hockey and football. This is because they target youths. The same goes for other Mara private limited subsidiaries. They have their own budget and procedures. There are no coercion, orders or whatnot.
"Similarly, allegations that Mara scholarships have been reduced are untrue, let alone the monies being used to sponsor football teams," he added.
Annuar ended his Facebook post with an anecdote of what one of the students that he was fishing with at an educational retreat had told him.
"Tell the fishes not too open their mouths too often. For the fish that opens its mouth the most is the one most likely to get caught on the fish hook," he concluded, in an oblique snipe at his accuser.
Annuar also appeared to take a dig at the crown prince, who once claimed to have a pendrive containing information on the corruption in FAM.
"To my media friends continue your reporting, but beware, don't take the wrong pendrive... Get your facts correct please," he said.
Annuar was responding to the crown prince's claim that the Mara chairperson used his positions in the federal agency and UniKL to channel funds for TRW.
Tunku Ismail also provided letters and receipts with regard to his allegation.
The crown prince also appeared to take Annuar to task for capitalising on footballer Mohd Faiz Subri's Fifa Puskas award.
"Before using Faiz's success for your popularity, why doesn't Tan Sri come forward to give an explanation about sponsorship money from Mara investments and UniKL, which were forced to sponsor the Red Warriors team?" he asked.
Although Tunku Ismail did not mention names, it is believed the crown prince was referring to Annuar, who reportedly described Faiz as a mentee when the politician helmed the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa).
Faiz played for Kelantan back in 2013.
Annuar is also the pro-chancellor II of UniKL, which is wholly owned by Mara.
PKR, Amanah Youth wings seek answers
Meanwhile, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) Youth urged Annuar to come clean on the crown prince's allegation.
"The allegation is serious, what more when it involves Mara, whose purpose is to help the bumiputera in entrepreneurship, education and investment. It is not to help any football team.
"The money could have been used to sponsor more youths to continue their studies," said the wing's vice-chief Shazni Munir Mohd Ithnin in a media statement.
Expressing shock over the crown prince's allegation, PKR Youth also demanded an explanation from Annuar.
The wing's students bureau chairperson Fahmi Zainol said Mara is no longer accepting loan applications since 2015.
"Not only that, sponsorship and loans for (those studying) abroad has also been cut or reduced. Allowances and cost of living allowance for UniKL students are often paid late as well," he added in a statement.- Mkini