PETALING JAYA: Malaysian football keeps sliding lower and lower.
From world No. 169 last month, Malaysia have slipped down two spots to No. 171 in the latest FIFA rankings – their worst in 22 years!
That makes Malaysian football worse than the likes of Timor Leste (No. 170), New Caledonia (No. 169) and Mauritius (No. 168), according to the ranking list released by the world football governing body on Thursday.
Malaysia were No. 79 in the world in 1993. That’s a drop of 92 places in 22 years!
And with 209 member nations in FIFA, Malaysia are only 38 places away from hitting rock bottom.
The latest slide comes in the wake of Malaysia’s 10-0 whipping by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a World Cup 2018 qualifying second round Asian Zone Group A match at the Mohamed Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sept 3.
It was Malaysia’s worst result since losing 8-2 to New Zealand in Kuala Lumpur almost 50 years ago.
Interim national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was disappointed with the latest ranking.
“We have slipped down another two rungs ... that’s disappointing. But let’s look at ways to improve the ranking,” said Kim Swee when contacted on Thursday.
He said the team’s ranking could be improved if “we can get the desired results in the upcoming ranking matches against Laos (‘A’ Friendly) in Bangkok on Oct 8 and the World Cup qualifying match against Timor Leste in Dili on Oct 13”.
“We have to take advantage of these two matches and collect as many ranking points as possible. This should help us move up in next month’s ranking,” he said.
He admitted that Malaysia have not won a single game (ranking match) this year.
Under previous coach Dollah Salleh, Malaysia’s campaign in the World Cup qualifiers got off to a disastrous start – drawing 1-1 with minnows Timor Leste and suffering a 6-0 thrashing by war-torn Palestine – on home ground.
"It won’t do any good to point fingers at anyone. The bottom line is we need to start winning,” said Kim Swee, who was appointed interim coach to replace Dollah, who resigned a day after the UAE debacle.