Saturday, 27 August 2011

Malaysia still waiting for reply from Syria over Olympic qualifer date

Malaysia has yet to receive a reply from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on a request to postpone the Olympic squads third round qualifying match against Syria on Nov 23.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said FAM had written a letter to Syria and AFC, requesting for a postponement of their Olympic Qualifier on Nov 23, since it clashed with the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia.

He added that Malaysia had appealed to play the match a day later, on Nov 24, since the SEA Games would take place from Nov 11-22.

"We have briefed and state our predicament to them and I have heard that verbally, Syria had indicated to the AFC that they (Syria) will accommodate our request. However, I have yet to receive an official reply," he told reporters here today.

The Olympic squad under coach Ong Kim Swee has been given the task to play in the SEA Games and the Olympic Qualifier.

Malaysia kick off their SEA Games campaign on Nov 7, while the final has been scheduled on Nov 22.

However, in the Olympic Qualifier, Malaysia are slated to play Syria on Nov 23 and Bahrain on Nov 27.

Azzuddin said FAM's request to postpone the match to Nov 24, was legitimate since the FIFA regulations require players to have at least 48 hours rest after an international assignment before playing another match.

Meanwhile, Azzuddin said Malaysia had accepted an offer from Australia to play a friendly match on Oct 7, here.

"We received a request from Australia two days ago and I have discussed the request with coach Datuk K.Rajagobal and team manager Datuk Subahan Kamal. Yesterday, I had also informed President Sultan Ahmad Shah," he said.

The request from Australia is indeed an honour since Australia are ranked among the top 16 teams in Asia, he said.

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