OCM respects FAM’s decision in not sending U-23 squad to Asian Games

KUALA LUMPUR: The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) respects the decision of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in not sending the national Under-23 (U-23) squad to the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China which is scheduled to take place in September.

Its president Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Zakaria, however, said the council has not held further discussions regarding the decision of FAM since the list of athletes for the Asian Games has not yet been finalised.

“For me, every association has its own plan for the medium or long term on the teams to send.

“For now we respect the decision at the association level (FAM),“ he said at a press conference after the 204th OCM executive council meeting here today.

On Tuesday, FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the decision was made because the Asian Games was too close to the 2024 U-23 Asian Cup Qualifying Round scheduled to take place in the same month.

Hamidin said the matter was agreed after taking into account the views of FAM technical director Scott O’Donell and head coach E. Elavarasan that the qualification round is more important in hunting for a slot to the Paris Olympics 2024.

The 2022 Asian Games is scheduled to run from Sept 23 to Oct 8 while the 2024 U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers are expected to be held from Sept 4 to 12.

The top three teams in the 2024 U-23 Asian Cup finals will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In the meantime, Mohamad Norza is confident that the national badminton squad will be able to rise up against China in today’s quarter-finals after losing 1-4 to India in the last Group B match of the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship (BAMTC) 2023 at Dubai Exhibition Centre, United Arab Emirates ( UAE), yesterday.

Yesterday’s defeat saw the national team settle for second place in Group B behind India.

The Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) previously targeted the national squad to qualify for the semi-finals which promises an automatic qualifying slot for the 2023 Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, China, from May 14 to 21. –Bernama