FAM will take Harimau Malaya further, says president

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) cannot look back following Malaysia’s historic achievement in ending a 42-year wait to qualify on merit for the 2023 Asian Cup finals.

Its president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said he and the top leadership of FAM always wanted success and would be consistent in their efforts to take the Harimau Malaya (national team) to the best level.

“We want to increase performance and it cannot go up sharply, so with the challenges ahead, we will face it step by step. There is a possibility that if the planning is not done correctly everything will fall back.

“It means that after this if the national team meets a certain team, we want them to win, not settle for a draw or loss. This is what we (FAM) are working on,” he told a press conference after the match between Malaysia and Bangladesh at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here last night.

In the last action of Group E of the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers, Malaysia qualified on merit to the Asian Cup finals after beating Bangladesh 4-1 in front of 52,964 spectators at the National Stadium.

The victory saw Head Coach Kim Pan Gon’s squad collect a total of six points to finish the qualifying campaign in second place behind Bahrain, thus confirming progress to the Asian Cup as one of the top five runners-up from the six groups.

For the record, the last time Malaysia made an appearance at the Asian Cup was in 2007 when they co-hosted, but failed to qualify on merit since the 1980 edition in Kuwait.

Commenting further, Hamidin wanted Pan Gon and his team to be more aggressive and go further.

He added that the preparations for the 2023 Asian Cup would start from now so that the national squad would not be “bullied” and be able to create surprises for the Asian giants.

“Preparations are starting now which also involves the AFF Cup, so this requires finance and planning and I’m sure Pan Gon knows what he needs to do and what he wants to discuss with me and the rest of the committee,” he said.

He also congratulated the coaches and players of the Harimau Malaya and thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and all parties — media, fans, local clubs and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) for their support for the parent body. 

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