Malaysians chart future of their U20 football squad

The Football Association of Malaysia and the National Sports Council of Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding to chart the future of the National Under-20 football squad. "I hope 10 years from now, we will remember today as the day when a resurgence of footballing excellence in the country began," said NSC Director-General Datuk Dr Ramlan Abd Aziz after the signing at Wisma FAM. "Before this, various efforts have been made to raise the quality of football in the country but I believe we are on the right track this time," he said as quoated by Bernama newsagency.

Ramlan said national footballers below 20 would be absorbed into NSC's AsiaComm program and all 30 players to be selected would receive a monthly allowance of RM2,500 and FAM Secretary-General Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad said the NSC had allocated RM3.5 million for the development of the under-23 squad and that FAM would disburse RM2 million this year to finance the team's training and participation in international championships. "Players selected to join the Under-20 squad cannot sign contracts with any state but are free to play for their states if there is no clash with the squad's schedules," he said.

The players in the squad, which is under the supervision of K. Rajagobal, have just returned from a series of friendly matches in Europe from 30 April to 20 May. They are now preparing for the Under-20 Asian Football Championship finals which will be held in Calcutta, India, from 29 Oct to 12 Nov.

See also: AirAsia takes Malaysian U20 squad to Man United (14 Apr)