National U-22 head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee has revealed his selection of 26 players for the AFC U-23 Championship 2018 Qualifiers that will be happening from July 19 until July 23.
Malaysia is in Group H, where they will face the likes of Thailand, Indonesia, and Mongolia. However, the national coach is having a tough time in getting all his 26 players to report for national duty.
According to Datuk Ong Kim Swee, at least eight players have been barred by their respective clubs from reporting to the training camp that is scheduled to start on the 5th of July.
If that isn’t bad enough, there is also very little that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) can do about this predicament.
According to FAM’s secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin, the tournament is not tied to the laws of FIFA, and therefore FAM cannot intervene to help.
All FAM and Datuk Ong Kim Swee can do at this point is reach out to the clubs and convince them to reconsider their decision.
“FAM has no power to get involved, because FIFA regulations only apply to the national teams and tournaments that are under FIFA’s calendar.” Datuk Hamidin told Arena Metro.
“So we’d like to make a request to all the clubs that have held their players back to reconsider their decision so our national coach can have his best players in the squad.”
Datuk Hamidin also said that they are ready to sit down and discuss with the clubs so they can reach an understanding that will benefit both parties.
“Of course we understand that the M League fixtures are tightly packed, and the teams need their key players with them. But I’m sure we can talk about this and come to an agreement.” he added.