Latest Movement Control Order has put a spanner in the works for Tan Cheng Hoe and FAM as training camp is cancelled. More than a year has gone by for Tan Cheng Hoe without being able to get his senior Malaysia national team together for a match or even a training session, and now the wait continues for the man in charge of Harimau Malaya after the Malaysian government announced on Monday the return of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
The latest restriction is understandable as it comes after a continuous rise in the Covid-19 cases in the country but nevertheless forced Cheng Hoe to scap his plan to call-up his players for a training camp that was supposed to be held from Jan 16-25 in preparations for the resumption of the World Cup qualification matches in March.
Speaking during the press conference after the 12th Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) executive committee meeting for the term 2017-2021, FAM’s general-secretary Stuart Ramalingam divulged that following the announcement that the national team’s plans to get together later this week has now been cancelled. Editors’ Picks
While the squad that was being prepared consist only of players that were supposedly not first picks for Cheng Hoe, it was an exercise which the former Kedah head coach was very much looking forward to after not being able to work with his players for a sustained period of time.
The fear right now will be that Malaysia could be at risk of being booted out of the qualifiers should the pandemic situation not improve in the coming months and ultimately leading to the team being unable to either fly out to face United Arab Emirates in March or welcome Vietnam in the same month.
However FAM president Dato Hamidin Mohd Amin allayed those fears and explained that his organisation are in constant talks with Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) as well as Asian Football Confederation (AFC) on how best to approach those matches and the alternatives that are in place.
“We’ve discussed with Dato” Windsor on what will happen if we can’t play in March. FIFA and AFC will look into the matter and it could go into June, in a carnival style where it is the last date where it must be played. Any country that can’t go, will be forfeited of their participation,” said Hamidin in the press conference.
“Still for now we need to prepare for March but we are ready with the options. We’ve already sent letters to Security Concil via our sports minister that when we travel in March, we can adopt a special quarantine special which will allow us to play two matches home and away within a short time frame. We have a verbal agreement but situation can always change.”