KUALA LUMPUR: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are expected to reschedule M-League matches to enable the National team to take part in the 2018 Russia World Cup Asian Zone Qualifier.
FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the new schedule would be announced after a meeting tomorrow so that coach Dollah Salleh can start preparations early.
In the draw held today, 40 countries taking part in the Qualifier were divided into eight groups with Malaysia drawn in Group A with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Timur Leste.
The Qualifier will offer 12 teams an opportunity to qualify for the third Qualifying round and also offers the top 12 teams, places in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
All teams will play four home matches and four away matches throughout the qualifying period.
Based on the draw, Malaysia play two home matches in June – against Timur Leste (June 11) and Palestine (June 16) – and also play in September, October, November and two more matches in March next year.
“We want to reschedule matches so that Dollah Salleh will have at least 10 days to prepare for each match,” he told reporters after the draw for the 2018 Russia World Cup Asian Zone Qualifier.
Hamidin said as part of preparations for the Qualifier, the team could be send for an attachment in Japan.
“I have discussed the prospect with the Japan Football Association to be given the privilege to train there or conduct a special study on the Japanese team,” he said.
For the record, Malaysia last qualified for the Asian Cup twice, namely in 1976 and 1980, as well as in 2007 when hosting the cup, here.