FAM won’t play ball yet over Asean Club meet

  • Football
  • Thursday, 07 Nov 2019

PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) is coy on taking part in the Asean Club Championship (ACC) mooted by the Asean Football Federation (AFF).

The AFF confirmed yesterday the creation of the new annual competition which will kick off in the second half of next year with the backing of FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

It is learnt that commercial partners have already been secured and the total prize money will be more than US$1mil (RM4.1mil).

AFF also added that the winners of the Asean championship could earn a slot in the final rounds of the expanded 24-team FIFA Club World Cup in 2021.

However, FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said the national body could not confirm participation as they do not have sufficient info the ACC.

“From FAM’s perspective, the ACC first and foremost needs sanction from Asian Football Confederations (AFC) and as long as we don’t see the sanction and ensure the right process is followed, we cannot confirm our participation,” said Stuart.

“We need to look at the calendar. The AFC has announced the expansion of the Champions League, which means there are more matches and teams and there’s also the link-up between the Champions League and the AFC Cup...if we don’t know the format and the schedule of the ACC, it will be hard for us to confirm anything.”

Stuart said that the ACC needs more study to develop it better as it could possibly weigh down Malaysian teams and be detrimental

“Of course, the ACC is a good idea but only after knowing the calendar, obligations and the requirements of the participating teams that a decision can be made,” said Stuart.

“Do our top team play in the AFC Champions League and ACC at the same time... If teams ranked fifth and six are taking part in the ACC, it will be good as they’ll have regional exposure.”

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