Captain Zaquan Adha and Khairul Fahmi among players missing in Malaysia squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Malaysia Zaquan

Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe has excluded some big names including that of captain Zaquan Adha and experienced goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi from the preliminary squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. 

Harimau Malaya are set to take on Timor-Leste in the first round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifiers in a two-legged tie to be played on June 7 and 11 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

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In what comes as a surprise move, Cheng Hoe who led Malaysia to the final of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 has dropped four players from that 26-strong squad including influential captain Zaquan, custodian Khairul, Perak’s Nazirul Naim and Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) Ahmad Hazwan Bakri.

Seven other players who were part of the Malaysia squad for the Airmarine Cup 2019 including Kedah FA’s Rizal Ghazal, Selangor FA’s Abdul Latiff Suhaimi and FELDA United’s Hadin Azman also missed out on the selection.

The 26 players called up to the national team are to begin their preparations at the Bukit Jalil from May 27 and will face Nepal in an international friendly match on June 2.

The likes of Safawi Rasid, Akhyar Rasid, Syamer Kutty Abba and Syahmi Safari have returned to the squad after U-23 duties while goalkeeper Farizal Marlias, Adam Nor Azlin and Syafiq Ahmad are also featured.

The team will be reduced to 23 players before the World Cup Qualifiers.

Malaysia’s 26-member preliminary squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Goalkeepers: Farizal Marlias, Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim, Hafizul Hakim

Defenders: Adam Nor Azlin, Dominic Tan, Syazwan Andik, La’vere Corbin-Ong, Matthew Davies, Rodney Celvin Akwensivie, Shahrul Saad, Irfan Zakaria, Syahmi Safari

Midfielders: Akram Mahinan,  Syamer Kutty Abba,  Safawi Rasid, Akhyar Rashid, Mohamadou Sumareh, Nor Azam Abdul Azih, Syazwan Zainon, Faiz Nasir, Abdul Halim Saari, Kenny Pallraj

Forwards: Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Shahrel Fikri, Faisal Abdul Halim