Malaysia’s journey to the world stage (OFC)

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oceaniafootball.com

malaysiaIn the lead-up to the OFC Futsal Championship Invitational oceaniafootball.com will present a rundown on each of the seven teams who will participate in the tournament at Auckland’s The Trusts Arena from 23-27 July.

Today we are bringing you the latest on Malaysia who will arrive in Auckland with the objective of continually improving their level on the road to becoming more competitive on the world stage.

Malaysia are a member of the Asia Football Confederation and are currently ranked 75th in the world futsal rankings.

They played their first international game in 1996 against the Philippines which ended in a comfortable 13-3 win for Malaysia. This was an important year in Malaysian futsal history as they qualified for the FIFA Futsal World Cup for the first and only time. It remains their best achievement at an international level.

Earlier this year, Malaysia visited Spain where they played a total of nine friendly games against Spanish clubs duringin a two week periods.

Following this they participated in the futsal Four Nations Tournament along with England, USA and Poland last June in Newcastle, England. It was a difficult tournament as they lost two games against future winners USA (8-1) and Poland (6-1) and drew 2-2 against England in their last game.

After England the team, nicknamed Harimau Malaysia which means Majestic Tiger of Malaysia, was in South Korea for another international competition. They were involved in the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martials Arts Games held in the city of Incheon. They were eliminated at the group stage after losing 4-1 against Thailand with the 16-0 win over Bhutan unable to help them earn access the quarter-finals. This last success remains is still the biggest win in the Malaysian futsal history.

After England the team, nicknamed Harimau Malaysia which means Majestic Tiger of Malaysia, was in South Korea for another international competition. They were involved in the 2013 Asian Indoor and Martials Arts Games held in the city of Incheon. They were eliminated at the group stage after losing 4-1 against Thailand with the 16-0 win over Bhutan unable to help them earn access the quarter-finals. This last success is still the biggest win in Malaysian futsal history.

In Malaysia, the discipline is growing quickly and it is becoming more and more established in the country. Malaysia Football Association has set-up both men’s and women’s futsal leagues which are entirely professional. The current reigning champion in both the men’s and women’s game is PKNS FC.

The national men’s futsal league was created in 2004 with a total of 16 teams. Since its creation, the futsal league has had six different champions in the men’s category and KL Figos RSA FC is the only club to have won the league twice in-a-row in 2009 and 2010.

With the successful growth of the discipline, MFA decided to create a women’s futsal league in 2007 with 13 teams competing in the league. In 2012 that number rose to 16, however just 12 women’s teams will participate in the 2013 National League which begins on the 17 August. Same as in the men’s league, one team has won the league twice in-a-row, Selangor FA in 2010 and 2011, and four different team have been crowned champions since its launch.

Malaysia are now coming to Auckland to participate at the OFC Futsal Championship Invitational from 23-27 June where they share Group A with New Caledonia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands.

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