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KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 -- The FAM-MSN Project squad must remain in the Premier League competition for the continued development of national football, says Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Technical Director Datuk Ong Kim Swee.
Kim Swee, who was asked to comment on the poor performance of the squad coached by Yusri Che Lah, also rejected the idea of disbanding the team.
However, he opined that sound planning and direction must be considered to ensure that the millions of ringgit invested in the team formed with the cooperation of FAM and the National Sports Council does not go to waste.
"The plan is definitely to retain the team, I don't think this project will be dissolved, but maybe we will look at the roadmap.
"We can't have a programme for a year and dissolve it... this is a youth program, it doesn't make sense (for it to be dissolved)," he said when met at the COVID-19 National Immunisation Programme involving over 40 football players and FAM officials in Putrajaya recently.
After nine matches, the FAM-MSN project squad is at the bottom of the Premier League with one point.
Kim Swee, who is also former national Under-23 (B-23) squad coach, urged fans to remain patient with the progress of the squad, as the target was more long-term.
He said fans should provide the space and opportunity to the players as they were still considered 'raw' in terms of playing in the competitive league, and he believed they could pull off some surprises in the second half of the season.
"We want to expose them to competitive play, because the public needs to understand the purpose of this programme is to remain until the 2024 Olympic Games qualification…(even) if two to three players are selected, it is better than nothing at all," he added