Malaysia take over from Cambodia as AFF futsal hosts
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia have replaced Cambodia as hosts of the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) futsal tournament.
The FA of Malaysia's (FAM) secretary general, Datuk Dell Akbar Khan, said yesterday the six-nation tournament would be held in Kuantan from July 1-7.
The AFF requested us to take over from Cambodia, who were unable to get their venue ready on time. We will send our inspection team to Kuantan to check on our venue and we hope to get it ready soon,' said Dell.
The tournament involving Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines will be played over a single round-robin format with the top two teams contesting the final.
Malaysia's coach Silvio Sergio Machado said the 12 players from the team who finished as the Bowls champions in the recent KL World 5s checked in for centralised training at the Wisma FAM on Monday together with several new players.
I have given them homework to keep fit and they are all in good shape. We have drawn up an intensive programme, including four friendly matches, ahead of the tournament in Kuantan, said Machado.
He added that they needed to keep up the momentum of a creditable showing in the KL World 5s and he expected the team to challenge strongly for the title.
Malaysia's main rivals are Thailand, who were the Plate runners-up to Japan in the recent tournament in Bukit Jalil.
We will be prepared for the Thais. We saw them in the KL World 5s. They were good but I am sure we can beat them. We are studying their game on video, said Machado.
After the AFF tournament, Malaysia are down to play in the Asian championship, scheduled for July 27-Aug in Iran. In the 20-team tournament, Malaysia have been drawn in Group B with Thailand, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Iraq.