Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged Malaysian fans to continue supporting the national team although the Harimau Malaya did not make it to the next round of the Asian Zone Qualifier for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He said the national team put a good fight against Singapore in the return leg of their second round qualifier at the Bukit Jalil Stadium here Thursday night although the match ended in a 1-1 draw and Malaysia lost by a 4-6 aggregate.
"Tonight's match was also very exciting," he said in commenting on the match.
Muhyiddin and several other Cabinet ministers had joined some 85,000 fans in cheering the Harimau Malaya.
FA of Malaysia deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek and Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali were among the other dignitaries in the VIP box. "Looking at the huge turnout (of fans), it augurs well for the development of football in the country," added Muhyiddin.
Tengku Abdullah said although Malaysia performed admirably, he was deeply saddened that Malaysia did not advance to the next round.
His sentiments were also echoed by Hishammuddin.
"It's hugely dissapointing that we were not able to qualify although we put up a good performance. But I can see Malaysian football is on the uptrend," said Hishammuddin.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Shabery said though the battle may have been lost, it was still a good beginning for Malaysian football.
"The national squad showed true fighting spirit. I am very satisfied with with the players' performance and we can only go up from here," he said.