Amid safety concerns, national football team given clearance to play in Middle East

FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the Harimau Malaya national team has been given safety and security assurance to play in two football matches in the Middle East come March. — Picture courtesy of Royal Press Office
FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the Harimau Malaya national team has been given safety and security assurance to play in two football matches in the Middle East come March. — Picture courtesy of Royal Press Office

JOHOR BARU, Jan 16 — The national football team has been given the green light to play in two matches in the Middle East come March after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) was given assurances amid safety concerns in the region.

Its president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the national football body has received safety assurances from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for Harimau Malaya to partake in the matches.

“I am in contact with my United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterparts and also AFC where both parties have given us their assurance about security and safety concerns.

“At the same time, FAM has also received a letter from the Home Ministry where we are allowed to play in Bahrain and UAE,” said Hamidin at a press conference at the Hotel Thistle Johor Baru here today.

The national team would be playing in a friendly match against Bahrain in Manama and UAE in Dubai in March for the World Cup 2022/Asia Cup 2023 qualifying rounds.

Last week, FAM raised their concerns about security and safety concerns in the Middle East following recent developments in the region as the Harimau Malaya squad prepare for two crucial matches in the region in March.

Tensions in the Middle East escalated after the United States launched an attack which resulted in the death of Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, Iraq.

Iran then retaliated where it launched a rocket attack on two United States’ airbase in west and northern Iraq.

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