KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Naturalised players Lee Tuck and Sergio Aguero are among 29 footballers called up to join the Harimau Malaya centralised training camp in preparation for the Mitsubishi Electric AFF Cup 2022.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) confirmed in a statement today that Lee Tuck and Aguero, who both play for Sri Pahang FC, will report for training on Tuesday (November 29).
The Harimau Malaya, who are coached by South Korean Kim Pan Gon, will play in two Tier 1 international friendlies – against Cambodia at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on December 9 and the Maldives at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras on December 14 – as preparations for the AFF Cup.
Pan Gon will name the final 23-man squad for the AFF Cup after the two friendlies.
Malaysia, who have been drawn in Group B of the AFF Cup, will face Myanmar in Yangon on December 21, Laos in Bukit Jalil (December 24), Vietnam in Hanoi (December 27) and Singapore in Bukit Jalil (January 3).
The Harimau Malaya must finish in the top two in Group B to qualify for the two-legged semi-finals, which will be held on January 6/7 and January 9/10. The two-legged final will be held on January 13 and January 16.
FAM had previously announced an initial list of 41 players for centralised training but, after discussions and agreement between FAM, Pan Gon and the clubs involved, 12 players had to pull out for various reasons, including personal matters, family commitments and injury woes.
Among those who had to pull out were five Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) players – La’vere Lawrence Corbin-Ong, Muhammad Nazmi Faiz Mansor, Arif Aiman Mohd Hanapi, Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid and Matthew Davies.
FAM, meanwhile, thanked those who agreed to attend the training camp this time despite it being held outside the FIFA international window and at the end of a long and hard season.
“FAM also want to thank all the clubs involved for agreeing to release their players, thus giving them a chance to don the national jersey in the AFF Cup 2022,” the statement added.