SEPANG – The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) and FIFA need to give their assurance that the football venue for the match between Palestine and Malaysia at the Dora International Stadium in Hebron is safe.
Harimau Malaya (national football squad) interim coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee said the question of security was very important for the national squad in their 2018 World Cup/2019 Asian Cup Qualifying Round and wanted a neutral ground for the match.
He said the situation in Palestine was worrying following intrusion by the Israeli army into the country.
“According to the schedule, the next match will be played in Palestine. As such the agenda of security is of utmost importance. We need to obtain assurance from FIFA as soon as possible.
“I understand the match between Saudi Arabia and Palestine was not held in Palestine (match scheduled for tomorrow will be played in Jordan).
“The matter was over the security of players and officials,” he told reporters after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here Wednesday night.
“The door is still open. We can forget about the World Cup now but we need to focus on qualifying for the Asian Cup,” he said.
Meanwhile, on his position as a coach, Kim Swee said he would leave it to the Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) management to decide.
“I have not sent my application (to be national coach)…to date I have been directed to be interim national coach until December.
“I will discuss with Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin (FAM secretary-general) on the matter. I have also received several offers which I have put aside as I have a national duty to carry out now,” he said.
Malaysia are currently in fourth place in group A after collecting three points from a 1-0 win over Timor Leste on Tuesday and need to hunt for at least third placing to qualify for the 2019 Asian Cup third qualifying round.