Malaysia national football team

Malaysia national football team
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The Malaysia national football team is the
national team of Malaysia and is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia. The national team was founded in 1963 Merdeka
Tournament one month before the establishment of the Malaysian Federation. Malaysia national football team is recognised
by FIFA as the successor of the defunct Malaya national football team. The Malaysian team nicknamed Harimau Malaya
or Harimau Malaysia, in reference of the Malayan Tiger, while Skuad kebangsaan have been used
by Malaysian media since the 70’s. The most significant successes of the team
has come in the regional AFF Suzuki Cup, which Malaysia won in 2010 for the first time in
history. They beat Indonesia 4–2 on aggregate in
the final to capture the country’s first major international football title. Malaysia had many top players, such as the
legendary Mokhtar Dahari and Sabah’s Hassan Sani and James Wong, which led Malaysia into
their golden age during the 1970s until the 1980s. Before Mokhtar, The Malaysian King of Football,
Datuk Abdul Ghani Minhat was the most famous and respected footballer in the whole Malaya
during the 1950s until the 1960s. Malaysia’s 15–1 victory over the Philippines
in 1962 is currently the record for the highest win for the national team. In the current generation, Mohd Safee Mohd
Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha are considered by Malaysians as their best striker pair. In the FIFA World Rankings, Malaysia’s highest
standing was in the first release of the figures, in August 1993, at 75th. Malaysia’s main rival on the international
stage are their geographical neighbours, Indonesia and Singapore, and past matches between these
two teams have produced much drama. Malaysia is one of the most successful teams
in Southeast Asia along with Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, winning the ASEAN Football
Championship 2010 and other small competitions while improving at the same time. History
Early foundation Before the establishment of Malaysia on 16
September 1963, North Borneo, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore are represented by their own
national teams, a situation which pre-dated the establishment of a Malaysia. Malaya and Singapore usually competed in an
international competition such as the Merdeka Tournament while North Borneo and Sarawak
competed in Borneo Cup. Malaya’s biggest achievement in football was
becoming the bronze medalist of the 1962 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia after defeating
South Vietnam 4–1. The first match of Malaysia national football
team took place in Merdeka Stadium on 8 August 1963 with the combined strength of Singapore
and Malaya. Malaysia lose the match 3-4 to Japan. The team continue using the combination of
players from Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia until Singapore’s separation from Malaysia
in 1965. Since then the squad only represented by Peninsular
Malaysian due to difficulties of that time to go to East Malaysia and the players are
outside the mainstream of Malaysian football. It is only until 1977 FAM send a talent scout
to the East. In 1971, James Wong of Sabah is the first
player from East Malaysia to represent the country. The list continued by the late James Yaakub
of Sarawak in 1977. Malaysia qualified for the 1972 Olympics in
Munich, beating Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Philippines along the way. Although they managed to defeat the United
States 3–0, they lost the other 2 matches by losing 3–0 to West Germany and 6–0
to Morocco. Two years later, Malaysia won their second
bronze medal at the 1974 Asian Games after defeating North Korea 2–1. The team went on to qualify twice in a row
for the AFC Asian Cup, in 1976 and 1980. Malaysia qualified again for the 1980 Olympics
in Moscow, but joined the boycott of the games. The team also won the Merdeka Tournament three
times, became runner-up four times and achieved third place twice during the 1970s. 1994–2011
In 1994, Malaysian football was embroiled in one of the largest bribery scandals in
the country. With the dearth of mainstream interest and
lack of funds, Malaysian football has failed to repeat the achievements of the 1970s and
1980s, despite the recruitment of Claude LeRoy. Harris came with strong credentials, having
assisted Terry Venables at FC Barcelona and Allan Harris as coaches. In the second half of 2004, FAM selected Bertalan
Bicskei, former Hungarian goalkeeper and national coach, to succeed Allan Harris. Bicskei led the national side to third place
at the regional Tiger Cup tournament, but was demoted to youth development duties by
FAM for his actions during a friendly against Singapore in Penang on 8 June 2005. Bicskei, disgusted by the standard of officiating,
threw a bottle onto the pitch before confronting a Singapore player. In September 2005, his contract was terminated
after a mutual agreement. Norizan Bakar became the next head coach of
the Malaysian team. He guided the Malaysian squad to the ASEAN
Cup semifinals in 2007, where Malaysia lost through penalties to Singapore. Norizan’s position as the head coach was criticised
by the Malaysian football community, fans and officials alike, after the team’s performances
during the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, where Malaysia lost to China 1–5, Uzbekistan 0–5 and
Iran 0–2. After the removal of Norizan Bakar, B. Sathianathan
took over as head coach. Although he guided the squad to win the 2007
Merdeka Tournament, Malaysia once again failed to qualify for the World Cup after losing
4–1 and drawing 0–0 with Bahrain in the qualifying round. In March 2008, Sathianathan once again reach
the final of the Merdeka Tournament. However, Malaysia lost on penalties to Vietnam. Sathianathan also led Malaysia to the semi
finals of the 2008 Myanmar Grand Royal Challenge Cup. However, Malaysia then shockingly lost 4–1
to eventual winners, Myanmar. During the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup, Malaysia started
their campaign with a 3–0 win over Laos, but were defeated in the second match by Vietnam
with a score of 2–3 and were finally eliminated when they lost 3–0 to Thailand in the final
match of the group stage. This was the first time that the Malaysian
squad had not passed through the group stages in 12 years. In the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers, the Malaysian
team lost 0–5 to the United Arab Emirates. This defeat was the final straw in the eyes
of Malaysian supporters, and in February 2009, the contracts of Sathianathan and manager
Soh Chin Aun were terminated. Former U-20 Malaysia and Selangor FA coach,
Datuk K. Rajagopal was selected as the new head coach for Malaysia. He took over on July 2009. 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup triumph On April 2009, Datuk K. Rajagopal was named
the new coach of Malaysia replacing B. Sathianathan as head coach of Malaysia. K. Rajagopal was also the coach of the Malaysia
Under-23 squad. K. Rajagopal’s first match was against Zimbabwe,
which Malaysia won 4–0. Rajagopal also coached Malaysia in two games
against visiting English champions, Manchester United, losing both matches 2–3 and 0–2. During his time as the coach of the Under-23
team, K. Rajagopal led Malaysia to their fifth SEA Games gold medal and also led Malaysia
to qualify for the second round of the 2010 Asian Games as one of the best four third-placed
teams after a lapse of 32 years. During the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, Malaysia had
14 players that were under the age of 23 while the other players were over 23. Malaysia were in group A with host Indonesia,
Thailand and qualifiers winner, Laos. Malaysia began their campaign with an embarrassing
5–1 loss to Indonesia. Malaysia bounced back from their defeat and
later drew with Thailand and beat Laos 5–1. As runner up of group, Malaysia qualified
for the semi finals to meet Group B winners and defending champions Vietnam. In the first leg of the semifinal, Malaysia
won 2–0 on home soil and later drew 0–0 in the second leg, advancing to the final
with an aggregate of 2–0. In the finals, Malaysia met favourites Indonesia,
who were unbeaten in all their matches. On the first leg of the finals, Malaysia won
3–0 at home. Malaysia scored twice through Safee Sali and
once through Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin on a night when Bukit Jalil National Stadium was
filled over capacity for the first time since it was built. The match attracted so many people that after
tickets were sold out, policemen manning the gates were seen allowing friends and relatives
into the stadium, causing people having to trespass onto the cable bridge above the electronic
display besides standing on the aisles and corridors to view the game. On the second leg of the finals that was held
in Jakarta, Malaysia lost 2–1 to Indonesia but the final aggregate was 4–2 to Malaysia,
thus Malaysia were awarded the title. It was the first time in history that Malaysia
were crowned the champions of ASEAN. Sponsorship
Kit From the 1970s to 2007, the national team
kit was manufactured by Adidas, who also sponsored the national team kit. Since 2007, the official Malaysia team kit
has been manufactured by Nike. The home kit’s design of black and yellow
stripes is a throwback to the kit used by Malaysian national team of the 1920s. The great national team of the 1970s also
sported similar stripes, which are supposed to be reminiscent of the stripes of a tiger,
the symbol of Malaysia’s national football team. In November 2010, Nike Malaysia created a
new football kit for the Malaysians specially made for the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. The home kit’s design of black and yellow
stripes is shaped by a black row of lines. The away kit features a plain blue front and
red and white at the edge of the sleeves. Nike used the Malaysian flag as their logo
instead of putting the Football Association of Malaysia logo, as was the case for the
great national team of the 1970s. On the underside of the flag, the quote “Tanah
Tumpahnya Darahku” can be found. The quote is part of the Malaysia National
Anthem, alluding that they are doing their best for the country. Training Wisma FAM is a training facility and the main
headquarters for the Football Association of Malaysia which located at Kelana Jaya,
Malaysia. The facility is founded by the association
with a purpose to serve as a headquarters and also as a training ground for the national
team. Others than that, it serves as a meeting point,
a room for press statement and small apartment rooms available for the national players. Sometimes, ticket matches also sold on this
training facility. Media coverage
Malaysia home matches and some away matches are shown live or delayed on Astro Arena and
RTM. All matches are broadcast with full Malaysian
commentary with Datuk Haji Hasbullah Awang. Sponsors
According to the Football Association of Malaysia, Malaysia have around 10 sponsors. Primary sponsors include Nike, Astro and 100plus. Local sponsor includes Telekom Malaysia, Air
Asia, Malaysia Sports Council, RTM, Malaysia Airlines, Sime Darby, Resorts World Genting
and SHARP. Supporters “Ultras Malaya” is the name of the official
supporters of the national team. It is the largest supporter club in Malaysia
comprises all the football supporter groups in the country which known for their high
fanaticism and support towards the national team. Even in every international match the national
team played, they will be found in a group standing at the supporters area. The main colours for these supporter are usually
in black with a yellow scarf and banners just like the national team kits colours. These supporters always bring flares, drums
and large national flags to the stadiums. Home stadium Malaysia’s home stadium is the Bukit Jalil
National Stadium. The stadium capacity is 87,411 which makes
it second largest seated stadium in Southeast Asia, and one of the largest football stadium
in the world. Malaysia’s previous national stadium was the
Merdeka Stadium before the Bukit Jalil sports complex was constructed. Malaysia also uses other stadiums for their
matches such as the KLFA Stadium, the MBPJ Stadium and the Shah Alam Stadium. Competitive record
FIFA World Cup Olympic Games
AFC Asian Cup **Red border colour indicates tournament was
held on home soil. Asian Games
Since 2002, the tournament has been restricted to squads with no more than 3 players over
the age of 23, and these matches are not regarded as part of the national team’s record, nor
are caps awarded. AFF Football Championship
SEA Games

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