Grassroots program will improve Malaysia’s ranking, says sports minister Khairy

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KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - DECEMBER 07:  Malaysian players poses prior to kick off during the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup semi final 1st leg match between Malaysia and Vietnam at Shah Alam Stadium on December 7, 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Stanley Chou/Getty Images)

sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin believes that the country’s ranking would only rise in due course if the Football Association (FAM) build the grassroots program properly.

Harimau Muda have once again dropped in the Fifa’s monthly ranking, this time to position 168 from 162 last month, two places above 170, which was their worst ranking ever in April 2008.

This situation was a result of their 1-1 draw against Timor Leste and a humiliation 6-0 defeat at home to Palestine in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers previous month.

“Our Fifa ranking has dropped six places to 168, but we are not surprised with that because we have not secured any victories since last month,” said Khairy was quoted by Bernama.

“It will get better in time with our grassroots program such as Harimau Muda projects and National Football Development Program (PPBN).

“We need patience and lots of time at the moment while waiting for the regeneration progress on our national team, it is a must for us if we are to improve,” he added.