AFF Cup: Two Harimau Malaya squad players test positive for Covid-19

Harimau Malaya will have an uphill battle now that two of its team are out of the running. — Bernama pic
Harimau Malaya will have an uphill battle now that two of its team are out of the running. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 5 — The Harimau Malaya squad have been dealt a blow just a day before the first match of their 2020 AFF Cup campaign against Cambodia, as two of their players have tested positive for Covid-19.

Team manager Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said both players were found to be positive during the screening test to enter Singapore at the Changi Airport on Friday, but all other team members were not infected.

He said the two players had been ordered to undergo a 10-day quarantine according to the protocol of Singapore’s Ministry of Health, with Covid-19 testing done on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, Mohd Yusoff, who is also the deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), confirmed that the organisers have allowed Tan Cheng Hoe’s squad to continue training and to take part in the AFF 2020 Cup.

“We are still discussing the decision to call up other players to replace these two, because one of the positions is quite critical. Cheng Hoe is expected to make a decision tonight,” he told Bernama when contacted in Singapore.

Out of the 24 players Cheng Hoe had listed to play in Singapore, only 21 are available for tomorrow, with Belgian-Malaysian Dion Cools who plays for FC Midtjylland in Denmark, is only expected to join the national squad ahead of the final group match against Indonesia on Dec 19.

The Group B fixture between Cambodia and 2018-edition runners-up Malaysia is set to take place at the Bishan Stadium at 5.30 pm.

After their match against Cambodia, the Harimau Malaya will meet Laos on Dec 9, before facing Vietnam (Dec 12) and Indonesia. — Bernama

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