Malaysia coach Dollah Salleh is welcome to the idea of naturalising foreigners to play for the national team in order to give a boost for local football.
The 51-year-old tactician released that statement after guiding the Malaysia XI selection team to play a 1-1 draw against English Premier League giants Liverpool on Friday, a match which claimed as a proof that naturalised players could help Harimau Malaya.
Five foreigners from Malaysia Super League have had called up to the team, Thiago Junior, Patrick Wleh, Vincent Bikana, Charles Chad Souza and Zah Rahan, whose all played for Dollah’s squad at Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
“The foreign players, especially the defenders, made a big difference and holding off the Liverpool’s players from causing us any damage during the match,” he said was quoted by The Star.
“Thiago did a good job to guide the defenders and the local boys picked up a lot of positives from playing with them. This might be a temporary answer to stopping the national team’s decline.”
Regarding Dollah’s statement, the general secretary of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), Datuk Hamidin Amin has showed his support for the idea of using naturalised players for national team.
“If it is good for the development of local football, why not?” he told Utusan. “The FAM is willing to call up naturalised players as a way to improve the performance of the national team.
“But everyone must remember that naturalisation requires the government’s approval. We can’t make the decision lightly because the one who grants citizenship is the government, not us.
“If the government allows it, it will be good for local football, but I must stress that it is not our top priority because we have many long-term plans.”