KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — The National Under-23 squad has left for Phnom Penh, Cambodia today for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Under-23 Championship 2022, scheduled to take place from February 14 to 26.
Head coach Brad Maloney was reported to have said that the team was scheduled to depart for Cambodia tomorrow, but the media did not receive any notification about the change in the date.
According to a post on the Football Association of Malaysia’s Facebook page today, the national squad left for Cambodia this morning on a Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight, which is now the official airline partner for FAM.
Present to send off the team at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) were FAM deputy president Datuk S.Sivasundaram, FAM secretary-general Mohd Saifuddin Abu Bakar, and FAM exco Md Dali Wahid.
In a separate development, defending champions Indonesia, which was drawn into Group B with the national team, has officially withdrawn its participation from the championship.
Football Association of Indonesia, in a statement earlier today, said the withdrawal of head coach Shin Tae Yong’s squad was due to seven players and one team official tested positive for Covid-19, while four other players were close contacts and had to undergo quarantine.
With Indonesia’s withdrawal, the national B-23 squad will only play two group matches, against Myanmar on February 15 and Laos (February 18) at Prince Stadium.
Only three group champions and one best runner-up will advance to the semi-finals scheduled to take place on February 24 and the final is scheduled for February 26.