Kim Swee optimistic Wan Kuzain can settle passport woes

Last update: 12/11/2019

PETALING JAYA, Nov 12 -- National Under-22 (U-22) football squad chief coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee is optimistic that Malaysian rising star Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal who plays in the United States can settle his passport problem in time to represent the country at the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines.

Kim Swee revealed that he could not guarantee that the Illinois-born player can see action in the Games but came to understand that the 21-year-old is making efforts to resolve the problem.

"If all goes well,  Wan Kuzain will arrive in Malaysia by the end of this week. If he cannot resolve his travel document woes, he will be left out of the squad,” he said when  met by reporters during the team's training session yesterday at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya, here.

Prior to this, it was reported that Wan Kuzain who plays for Major League Soccer club  Sporting Kansas City wants to join the U-22 team as the MLS is on a break.

He holds a Malaysian passport but is reported to  be facing problems because it has expired and needs to return to Malaysia urgently to renew it.

Meanwhile, Kim Swee said six players of the National U-18 squad including new face Firdaus Irman Mohd Fadhil (goalkeeper) will be joining the U-22 squad on Thursday for centralised training after playing in the qualifying round of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 in Phnom Penh recently.

"I am giving them sufficient time to rest before they join us on Thursday,” he said, adding that the team would be playing a friendly with Petaling Jaya FC as part of the preparations.

"The players have to fight for their spots in the squad. As I said before, there are no automatic slots, selection will be based on their performance during Fridays match and in training,”  the coach stressed.

Malaysia who are drawn  in Group A start their campaign against Myanmar on Nov 25, Philippines  (Nov 29), Timor-Leste (Dec 2)  and Cambodia (Dec 4).  The  venue for all the matches is the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila.

Defending champions Thailand lead the challenge in Group B. The other teams in the group are Indonesia, Vietnam, Laos, Singapore and Brunei with their venue being  the Binan Stadium in Laguna.

The top two teams  in each group will advance to the semifinals scheduled to take place on Dec 7.

-- BERNAMA