The FA of Malaysia (FAM) believes its young players have the talent and skills to play abroad.
FAM vice-president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal said the focus must be on youth to ensure Malaysian football progresses.
"We are the regional champions but it does not make us the best in Asia. We must look beyond Southeast Asia and in order to do that, we need quality players," said Subahan at the launch of the 1Malaysia Cardiff City Junior Football League logo at Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club yesterday.
"I feel our players have the talent, for instance Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Fadhli Shas were both voted among the best under-23 players in Asia last year. So they should try their luck abroad. Our 17-and-18-year-olds are also talented and we must start grooming them.
"We had Safee Sali in Cardiff for trials but let us be realistic, he has just another few more years in professional football at 27.
"We should look at others and in order for our long held dream to qualify for the World Cup or Olympics to materialise, it will depend on how we manage our players. I am confident that one of our players will play in the top-tier division in England."
Subahan stressed that it is about time the younger players in the national team play abroad.
"Safee has improved so much by playing for Pelita Jaya in Indonesia and other players should follow suit. I am not saying they should only go to Cardiff. They can also try their luck at other foreign clubs," Subahan added.
"Of course, it is for FAM and national coach K. Rajagobal to decide on the next course for these players."
He also stressed that private entities should invest in the local game to improve its quality.
"We need support from everyone, including the private sector to get involved in grassroots development," said Subahan.
Cardiff City chairman Datuk Chan Tien Ghee said the club would continue to give opportunities to local players and coaches.
"Safee and Safiq Rahim were at Cardiff for trials and both were exposed to different kinds of training. As for the near future, we will continue to give opportunities to players and coaches as the club are a part of Malaysia," said Tien Ghee.
According to sources, Cardiff are keen on Young Tigers A midfielder Nazmi Faiz, who they want on a one-year attachment deal. Discussions are underway between the concerned parties.
The club also offered national Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee a stint but the former international needs to prepare his team for several priority assignments.
Among the attendees of yesterday's logo launch were Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, CEO Alan Whitely, FAM general secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad and Rajagobal.