More issues crop up for Asian Games bound Football team

Total chaos, that is how to best describe the preparations of the National Football Team following the decision to slot in the two teams. UAE and Palestine into the existing groups of the Asian Games.

Protocols and regulations were thrown out of the window by the Olympic Council of Asia by asking Asian Football Confederation to hold draws for the two teams only, and not conduct a fresh draw.

Malaysia now ends up up with a five team group, with South Korea, Bahrain, Kyrgyzstan and UAE.

So they will now start their campaign on August 10 instead of August 12, thus forcing the team to cancel their second friendly match against Saudi Arabia initially scheduled for August 9 in Kuala Lumpur.

“ We are surprised by the way the draw was done but it is out of our hands,” said coach Dato Ong Kim Swee.

“ We now have to have a re-look at the arrangements and we cannot play Saudi Arabia as planned.

“ The players will assemble on July 30 and we leave for the friendly match against China on Thursday as we play them on Sunday.

“ We have to make do with the limited time we have in our hands and will try our best to put up a good show at the Asian Games.”

After playing in China on Sunday ( August 5) the best options would be for the team to fly directly to Indonesia as they can then continue their preparations without having to stop over in Malaysia.

As it is they ought to be in Indonesia on August 8, at least two days before their first match.

“ This has to be discussed and decided by the FAM,” was all Kim Swee was willing to say.

With practically only a week of preparation, nothing much ought or should be expected of the team as they will face formidable opponents.

The format sees the two top teams automatically qualified for the next round and they will be joined by the best four third places teams.

However the last match of the teams that have five will not be taken into account in determining the teams that move to the round of 16.

AFC Secretary General Dato Windsor Paul said that the AFC had completed the fixtures and sent it to the organisers.

“ We leave it to then to release the fixtures and hopefully it will be done by tomorrow.” said Windsor .