PUTRAJAYA, April 14 (Bernama) -- Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin did not mice his words when informed that Malaysia has dropped from 153rd to an alarming 164th in the FIFA World ranking list within a period of two months.
The National team's current FIFA ranking does not make sense, because in February, Malaysia were in 153rd position.
Khairy said Malaysia's position in the FIFA ranking list defies logic because Malaysia are ranked lower than some Asean countries although the squad under Dollah Salleh were able to reach at least the semifinal or final in the SEA Games or the AFF Suzuki Cup.
"We can't say Malaysia are the worst ranked country in Asean but rankings are based on the kind of tournaments chosen to play. The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has its own plans.
"Maybe the tournaments chosen by the FAM are tough tournaments that resulted in losses and affected the ranking. FAM had clarified that choosing better teams to play against was intentional, so that the players can gain exposure and experience," he told reporters, here today.
Khairy said the current focus for the country was however, not the ranking but rather the achievement at major events like the SEA Games, AFF Suzuki Cup and AFC Cup.
Malaysia's 0-6 loss to Oman in an international friendly on March 26, saw the country's position drop 11 places, the worst recorded this year, since it put Malaysia on par with Bhutan (163), Grenada (165), Puerto Rico (166), Hong Kong and Bangladesh (167).