KUANTAN, Jan 13 -- The national futsal squad will be competing as underdog at the International Futsal Championship 2020 in Songkhla, Thailand from Feb 2 to 8, with more focus on exposure to gain experience from the higher-ranking teams.
National men's futsal head coach, Chiew Chun Yong said the team was invited to participate in the tournament due to improved performance and ranking, but had to deal with higher-ranking teams.
"In preparing for the championship, we are doing some tactical changes and strategies to strengthen the team, besides bringing in three new faces.”
Chiew said this to reporters after attending the opening ceremony of the AFC Futsal Training Level One Course which was officiated by Tengku Arif Temenggong of Pahang, Tengku Fadh Mu'adzam Shah Sultan Ahmad Shah at Indera Mahkota, here, today.
He noted that among the new faces expected to strengthen the national squad were from Terengganu, Kelantan and Klang Valley.
"We will see if they can adapt and achieve the performance we set before being selected to don the national team's jersey.
"The eight-day centralised training will begin on Jan 23 before the final list of 14 players is drawn up. The team will depart for Songkhla on Jan 31," he said.
Six countries will be participating in the International Futsal Championship 2020, namely the host Thailand, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Malaysia, where they will be divided into two groups with three teams each.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semi-finals with the winners going into the final, while the semi-finals losing teams have to battle for third place.
Thailand is hosting the invitational competition in its preparation together with Kuwait and Turkmenistan for the AFC 2020 Futsal Championship in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, which will take place over 12 days beginning Feb 26.