KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 (Bernama) -- United States-based Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal has been dropped from the national football squad for the Philippines SEA Games because of documentation problems.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in a statement today said the documentation problems faced by the Carbondale, Illinios-born Wan Kuzain could not be resolved before the registration deadline today.
Wan Kuzain, 21, who represents Sporting Kansas City in the United States Major League Soccer, was reported to have returned on Nov 17 before joining the national under-22 squad centralised training at the Subang Jaya Municipal Stadium a day later.
Wan Kuzain's documentation was expected to take at least two weeks to complete.
National under-22 head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee admitted that the team would miss the services of Wan Kuzain.
“During training he showed he could combine with the other players. But we have several players to fill the vacancy left by him,” he told Bernama when contacted today.
SPORTS-FOOTBALL (WAN KUZAIN) 2 KUALA LUMPUR
Kim Swee has retained seven players from the squad who won silver at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, including Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) defender Adam Nor Azlin, 23, and Kuala Lumpur defender Muhammad Irfan Zakaria, 24, who filled the quota for two players over the age of 22.
The other five players are goalkeeper Muhammad Haziq Nadzli, Mohamed Syamer Kutty Abba, Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid, Muhammad Danial Amier Norhisham and Muhammad Syahmi Safari.
Kim Swee, 49, who is making his fifth appearance as head coach of the SEA Games team, also picked three players from the Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD), including sensational striker Luqman Hakim Shamsudin.
Malaysia, who are in Group A, will face Myanmar on Nov 25, the Philippines on Nov 29, Timor Leste on Dec 2, and Cambodia on Dec 4 to round up their group matches.
Defending champions Thailand are in Group B with Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and Brunei.
SPORTS-FOOTBALL (WAN KUZAIN) 3 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR
The three venues for the football competition are the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, Binan Stadium in Laguna and Imus Grandstand and Track Oval in Cavite.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the semi-finals on Dec 7, while the bronze medal playoff and final are scheduled for Dec 10, one day before the closing ceremony of the games.
Final list of 20 players:
Goalkeepers: Muhammad Haziq Nadzli (JDT), Damien Lim Chien Khai (PKNS FC)
Defenders: Adam Nor Azlin (JDT), Muhamad Shahrul Nizam Ros Hasni (Kelantan), Harith Haiqal Adam Afkar (AMD), Muhammad Irfan Zakaria (Kuala Lumpur), Dominic Tan Jun Jin (Police Tero FC)
Wingers: R. Dinesh (Pahang), Muhamad Umar Hakeem Suhar Rezwan (AMD), Quentin Cheng (Central Coast Mariners Under-21), Muhammad Syahmi Safari (Selangor)
Midfielders: Mohamed Syamer Kutty Abba (JDT), Muhammad Danial Hakim Draman and Nik Akif Syahiran Nik Mat (Kelantan), Muhammad Danial Amier Norhisham (Felda United)
Strikers: Muhammad Akhyar Abdul Rashid (JDT), Mohamad Faisal Abdul Halim and M. Kogileswaran Raj (Pahang), Luqman Hakim Shamsudin (AMD), Muhammad Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak (Fagiano Okayama).