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FAM gives 2021 SEA Games chance for U19 team to train for 2024 Olympic

Tue 12 January 2021 | 16:12

After the failure of the last Southeast Asian Games (SEA) in the Philippines, where the Malaysia U23 team were put out of the competition following defeats to the Philippines and Cambodia, seemingly Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are revising how the biennial contest is being looked at.

In the 12th executive committee meeting for the 2017-2021 term held on Tuesday morning, it was concluded that the future

SEA Games

in Vietnam later this year will be represented by the U19 team instead of the usual U23 team.

FAM

awaits qualification to the 2024 Paris Olympics by giving those who would be eligible for qualification a headstart, same as what Japan Football Association has provided for their age-group teams in recent years.

New FAM Technical Director, Ong Kim Swee revealed that the decision was to give the players a longer period of adaptation that observes two separate cycles being completed by the team before the vital qualifiers in 2024. 

"The management has yet to decide on who the coach will be, just that for now we have decided to give an opportunity to these Under-19 players who we know can take the responsibility for the long term. Our purpose is to give them exposure for us to be prepared in 2024 for the Olympic qualification to Paris,"

Kim Swee informed on Tuesday.

"It will be down to the coach who we are going to appoint to decide on the selection because the scope is big. The Under-19 squad with Brad Maloney and the FAM-MSN Project Squad with Yusri Che Lah will likely form the team as they are all in the same age category.

"We have a long period before the Olympic qualification. Before that there's the SEA Games, AFC U23 qualification as well as the 2023 SEA Games. This is among the best generation that we have and it's not about looking down on the SEA Games, just that we want to give them a lot of exposures.

"Up to the Olympic qualifications, there will be two cycles of SEA Games and AFC U23 qualifications with other tournaments along the way. In the short term, we are not looking at achieving success during the SEA Games in Vietnam for example but once they gain more exposure, we do expect some form of success during the second SEA Games in Cambodia in 2023."

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