Harimau Malaya may face Japan: Hamidin

PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is still waiting to learn if a friendly between Malaysia and the number one team in Asia – Japan – is set to be held in the international fixtures window in September.

Its president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin (pix) said two matches were expected to be played during the period, with the Harimau Malaya almost certain to face Hong Kong.

He said the other team had not yet been finalised, with Japan, who have won the Asian Cup a record four times, being on the list of possible opponents along with Taiwan, China and Uzbekistan.

“This September, we will play two games abroad, the possibility of playing against Hong Kong is almost certain…maybe also against Taiwan (and) we are also asking between Japan, China and Uzbekistan.

“We are still waiting for an answer after I contacted all the presidents (of the respective football associations). They will finalise the matter after talking to their respective head coaches,“ he told the media here today.

Meanwhile, Hamidin said in the next international fixtures window in March, the national team will train and play at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, with Turkmenistan among the teams to be contested.

According to him, Pan Gon’s men will then meet either Taiwan or Kuwait, and it would be finalised by this week.

“In the June window, we will play one match at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium and another maybe in Terengganu, Pahang or Penang, to give an opportunity to the fans there (to witness the match). The match against Yemen is pretty much confirmed, another opponent will be either Syria or Oman,“ he said.

Meanwhile, on the Merdeka Tournament scheduled to take place in October, Hamidin said FAM was finalising another two teams Malaysia would host from among India, Lebanon and China, after Palestine confirmed their participation.

“The format of the tournament is the same as the Thailand King’s Cup, we will play two matches because that is the only number allowed,“ he said while informing that Malaysia would also play two matches each in November and December ahead of the 2023 Asian Cup in January next year.

However, he did not mention who the national team’s opponents would be in the two windows.

Hamidin said FAM would issue an official statement on the Harimau Malaya’s match schedule this year by next week. –Bernama