Football Association of Malaysia’s Secretary General Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin released a statement yesterday to clarify a few issues regarding the national squad players selection.
First of all, he explained that the 26-men squad was selected by assistant head coach, Tan Cheng Hoe, and not by FAM’s top management as alleged by some.
He also stressed that only 9 out the 26 players were above 30 and rubbished comments about the national football squad being filled with “old horses”.
Another issue that was persistent is the return of four retired football players, who also received national call-up. Many local football fans expressed their dissatisfaction towards the return of Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan, S Kunanlan and Amirulhadi Zainal in the national team.
According to Datuk Hamidin, the return of these players was inspired by the presence and new leadership era of Tunku Ismali Sultan Ibrahim.
Apart from that, Datuk Hamidin said that the reason Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan, S Kunanlan and Amirulhadi Zainal are in the national call-up is because they were chosen by Tan Cheng Hoe.
“Yes they are in the national call-up list. But that doesn’t mean their position in the national squad is guaranteed.”
“They were listed by Tan Cheng Hoe, but it is head coach Nelo Vingada who will be assessing their performance. If they perform up to expectations, they will stay on in the squad. If they fail to perform well, they won’t necessarily be retained.”
“For me, whether young or old, retired and returned, or even if it’s a new face, if they are good players and can help the team to win, then that’s all that matters. Please be patient.” Datuk Hamidin added.