SEPANG – A mystery reward and RM6,000 cash incentive await the National Under-22 squad that qualified for the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC Cup U-23) Under-23 Cup Finals in China next year.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has also invited the players to meet him soon.
Hamidin said each player and official would receive RM6,000 as per FAM’s pledge.
“I wish to congratulate the National Under-22 squad head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, players and all individuals responsible for the historic achievement. They deserve the incentive for their sacrifice and contribution.
“The president has asked me to arrange the meeting with the U-22 squad as early as possible. I’m sure there will be good news from Tunku,” he told reporters after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Bangkok, Thailand, here today.
Malaysia emerged as Group H winners in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC Cup) Under-23 Qualifiers and booked an automatic spot for the 2018 AFC Cup Under-23 finals in China.
Malaysia under the tutelage of National head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee collected six points from three matches to pip host Thailand who managed only five points after being held to a 1-1 draw by Indonesia today.
Kim Swee’s boys had beaten Indonesia 3-0 and Mongolia 2-0 but lost 0-3 to Thailand while Thailand who beat Malaysia 3-0 were held to a 1-1 draw by Mongolia and Indonesia by the same score.
Indonesia finished third in the group.
The winners of 10 groups, plus the best placed five runner-up teams make up 15 teams that qualify for the final in China next year while the 16th team will be the host country.
Meanwhile, Kim Swee said the players must remain focused on the bigger task ahead – SEA Games – which is around the corner and where expectation from the home fans would be higher.
“We have to forget about the ‘sweet victory’ and concentrate on preparations for the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games because the expectations, challenge and pressure will be nothing compared with what we had gone through in Bangkok.
“Being under pressure is normal but just that when we are hosting the games, the pressure increases. The players must remain focused,” he said. – BERNAMA