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Football Association of Malaysia decline friendly invitations from Argentina and Brazil

Published at :June 4, 2023 at 3:26 AM
Modified at :June 4, 2023 at 3:28 AM
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Keshava Verma

The Harimau Malaya are ranked 138th in the FIFA rankings.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) were recently approached by the current World number one and two - Argentina and Brazil, for playing friendly games this June. But in a shocking turn of events, it was revealed that the president of the Malaysian FA, Mr. Datuk Hamidin Amin, declined the invitations. He said that 138-ranked Malaysia are not ready to take on the best teams in the world.

Argentina, who are the current world champions, will also be taking on Indonesia on the 18th of June in Jakarta. It has been learnt that the Indonesia FA paid Argentina RM23 million to play the friendly.

Quotes of Malaysian FA President

"We were approached by the Brazil and Argentina Football Associations to play friendly matches. However, we turned them down. National coach Kim Pan Gon also felt it was not realistic for Harimau Malaya to take on Argentina and Brazil," Hamidin exclaimed regarding the national team’s decision to not play the games.

"Of course, matches against Argentina and Brazil will generate interest. However, Pan Gon and I felt it was not the right time.” he added

"As a FIFA council member, I have good relationships with other countries, including Argentina and Brazil. Although it has opened up opportunities, I think for now it is best for Malaysia to play against teams, who they can gain ranking points and experience," stated Malaysian FA president Mr. Datuk Hamidin.

Five-time world champions Brazil previously played against Malaysia back in 2002. The game ended in a 4-0 win for the South American nation, who were led by legends like Ronaldo Nazario. 

It was also disclosed by Hamidin that Argentina had approached FAM for a friendly before the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Who will Malaysia face in this international break

Instead of Argentina, Harimau Malaya will play Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea in friendly matches on June 14 and 20 in Kuala Terengganu. They will also be playing in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar in January next year.