Malaysia faces unexpected problems before the confrontation with Vietnam
The Malaysian national team will have to quickly adjust their preparations for the confrontation with Vietnam for an unavoidable reason.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) announced that the national team’s friendly match against Bahrain will be canceled due to concerns related to the Covid-19 epidemic. This is a match that aims to help the Tigers practices for two important confrontations with the UAE and Vietnam in the upcoming 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The cancellation of the match was also confirmed by FAM Secretary General Stuart Ramalingram in a statement on social media.
“In a letter that FAM received from the Bahrain Football Federation (BFA) on February 24, General Secretary Ebrahim Saad Al Buainain apologized for being unable to organize the match as planned due to the new request from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Ministry of Health,” said Stuart.
The match was originally scheduled to take place at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in Isa Town on March 21. However, unpredictable developments of the Covid-19 epidemic have made the Bahrain Football Federation concerned that the upcoming match will affect the prevention of both countries' epidemic. Cases have been reported in both Malaysia and Bahrain. On February 21, the Bahraini government had to tighten entry into countries with or near epidemic regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea or Iran.
As a result, FAM will have to quickly find another team to replace or adjust the competition plan so that Malaysia has the best preparation before the two confrontations with the UAE and Vietnam.
Previously, several countries in the region affected by the Covid-19 epidemic had to experience the same situation. Vietnam and Thailand were respectively requested by Iraq and Panama to cancel friendly plans because they were in an epidemic area. Fortunately, both then found a replacement team, not canceling the plan as originally planned.
Currently, Malaysia is in second place in Group G of the 2022 World Cup qualifier with 2 points less than the top team in Vietnam. So the next two matches in March with the UAE (March 26) and Vietnam (March 31) will be extremely important as they are all fiercely competing for the ticket to advance to the final qualifiers in Asia.