Keisuke Honda not Elavarasan’s replacement

PUTRAJAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has dismissed rumours that former Japanese football star Keisuke Honda (pix) would be replacing E. Elavarasan as head coach of the national under-23 (U-23) squad.

FAM secretary-general Datuk Noor Azman Rahman, however, said discussions on the new coach for Harimau Muda had been held and that an announcement would be made soon.

“No, nothing of that sort (Keisuke replacing Elavarasan). But there were discussions; we will make an announcement soon,” he said after a press conference on the launch of the Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Football Unity Carnival 2023 here today.

Yesterday, the speculation arose after local media reported that the former star of giant Italian club AC Milan might be replacing Elavarasan as the Japanese had posted on his X account that he was currently in Kuala Lumpur.

Elavarasan resigned as the U-23 chief coach on Sept 18.

Earlier, National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang launched the Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Football Unity Carnival 2023, which the ministry is organising with the strategic cooperation of FAM.

Aaron said the inaugural carnival from Oct 13 to 17 was expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors and would serve as yet another platform for uniting the people.

“Football can unite us. This programme will retrace the history of our independence in an effort to unite our country.

“During the carnival, members of the public can join the ‘Stadium Tour’ to take a stroll down memory lane with the Merdeka Cup football tournament,” he added. –Bernama