Cheng Hoe’s replacement to be decided after report from probe


PETALING JAYA: A decision on the candidate to replace Tan Cheng Hoe (pic) as the head coach of the Harimau Malaya is expected to be made after receiving a report from the national team’s independent investigation body.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said the investigation body led by former national player Datuk Dell Akbar Khan was currently investigating the cause of the national squad’s failure at the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore last month.

Yusoff, who is also the Harimau Malaya team manager, said he, as well as captain Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak, were among the individuals called to provide their statements.

“So we are waiting for the response from this post-mortem report which I expect to be completed by next week, after which, we should be able to determine a suitable candidate,” he said.

Yusoff said several individuals had shown interest in the position and he believed that FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin was also in the process of identifying a suitable candidate.

He said the FAM would look into all possibilities, as there were some quarters who felt that a local coach would be more suitable due to the short period of time until the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers in June, while some opined that a foreign coach was better in terms of ensuring a more structured long-term plan.

“All these proposals will be brought to the national team management committee this month, which is chaired by Datuk Hamidin himself. After that, it will be endorsed in the exco meeting to ensure the best choice, so that our planning can be implemented in a more organised manner.

“Some candidates have applied, but there is a list of coaches (who have not applied) who are on FAM’s radar too,” he said.

Asked about the fate of the coaching staff that served under Cheng Hoe, Yusoff said the FAM would allow the new head coach to decide on whether to continue using the services of the existing line-up or appoint his own coaching team.

Malaysia failed to advance to the semi-finals in Singapore as they finished third in Group B, after initially recording wins over Cambodia (3-1) and Laos (4-0), but then losing the next two to Vietnam (0-3 ) and Indonesia (1-4). The target was to reach the final.

Cheng Hoe later resigned, taking responsibility for the unsatisfactory performance of the team.

The FAM then appointed Dell, who is also a former FAM secretary-general and former Kuala Lumpur Police chief, to lead the independent investigation body on the matter. — Bernama

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