Friday April 21, 2017
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Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim speaking at a press conference after chairing the FAM Exco for 2017-2021 session in Magelan Sutera Harbor Resort, Kota Kinabalu, April 8, 2017. — Bernama picFootball Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim speaking at a press conference after chairing the FAM Exco for 2017-2021 session in Magelan Sutera Harbor Resort, Kota Kinabalu, April 8, 2017. — Bernama picJOHOR BARU, April 21 — The national Under-22 football squad might be training in China in preparing for the AFC Cup 2018 qualifier and the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

FA of Malaysia president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said the decision, however, would depend on affordability.

“No decision yet, it (training) might be in China or in the country. It is costly (to send players for overseas training stints) but the planning is managed by the coach and I will be discussing this down the road,” he told a press conference after a meeting with FAM’s affiliates here today.

The squad’s coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has called up 30 players for the first phase of training after which the number will be whittled down to 23 players.

Malaysia will be playing in the AFC Cup 2018 Qualifier in July in Bangkok while the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games will be held in August.

On other matters, Tunku Ismail, who is also Tunku Mahkota Johor, said some affiliates were still reluctant to release players to join the Under-22 squad but hoped they would change their stance as Malaysia was hosting the SEA Games and that it would be a pity if the national squad did not do well.

Tunku Ismail also said that the question of who would be Harimau Malaya’s (national football squad) coach would be answered very soon.

He had named former Johor Darul Ta’zim coach Mario Gomez for the post but the latter had declined. — Bernama

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