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KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 -- National football team head coach Tan Cheng Hoe can finally heave a huge sigh of relief after the Malaysian Football League (MFL) released the latest Malaysia League (M-League) fixtures today.
Based on the fixtures released, match days 11 and 12 of the Super League and Premier League, which were supposed to be held after Hari Raya Aidilfitri, between May 18 and May 23, have been brought forward to this month.
This means there will be five match days for the Super League and four match days for the Premier League during this Ramadan month.
Cheng Hoe was thankful to the MFL for considering his request to amend the M-League calendar so that his Harimau Malaya squad would have more time to prepare for their three remaining matches in Group G of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June.
“Thank you also to the teams or clubs for their understanding and cooperation in agreeing to the changes to the fixtures, which will surely give the Harimau Malaya squad more time to undergo centralised training in preparation for the three remaining matches in the qualifiers.
“Everyone knows that the other challengers, like the UAE, Vietnam and Thailand, have made thorough preparations and some even stopped their domestic leagues to give their national sides more time to get ready,” he said in a post uploaded to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Facebook page today.
Meanwhile, the former Kedah coach has thrown down the gauntlet to his national team players, asking them to shoulder the responsibility and respond to the challenge that they will face in the UAE.
He also hoped that fans would continue to give their undivided support to the team, saying that it would go a long way towards helping the team achieve good results.
Following changes to the fixtures, the Harimau Malaya squad will be able to start centralised training from May 16, which is one week earlier than previously planned.
The Harimau Malaya are scheduled to play two warm-up matches before facing the UAE on June 3, Vietnam on June 11 and Thailand on June 15.