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Luqman Hakim and Malaysia’s U-19 World Cup dream died a day before Christmas


If Luqman Hakim and his cohort want to play in the World Cup, they will now have to do so with the senior Malaysia national team.

A decision by FIFA just a day before Christmas Day put an end to the Malaysian Under-19 dream.

On Thursday, December 24, FIFA announced that it had canceled the 2021 editions of the U-20 and U-17 Men’s World Cups.

In a statement posted on its website, the world’s football governing body explained that the decision was made due to challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“… It became clear that the world situation has failed to normalize to a level sufficient to meet the challenges associated with hosting both tournaments, including the feasibility of the relevant qualification paths.”

In 2019 Australia’s Under-19 head coach from Malaysia, led by Brad Maloney, took another step towards realizing his World Cup dream, when they qualified for the Championship final. of AFC U-19 2020. Maloney’s fees include 2020 Goal NxGn list Luqman Hakim, who is currently with the top Belgian team KV Kortrijk.

Luqman Hakim. Photo for Sports Regime

The Young Tigers would have needed to at least reach the semi-finals of the AFC final to secure their place in the World Cup. The 2020 AFC U-19 Championship final had already been scheduled in Uzbekistan in October 2020, before being postponed to March 2021 due to the pandemic. Maloney’s charges have been drawn in Group D alongside Qatar, Tajikistan and Yemen, and the tournament is still set to take place.

For Luqman and his U-19 teammates, who are mostly the first group of graduates of the Mokhtar Dahari Academy, they no longer have any chance of qualifying for a Junior World Cup because FIFA does not organize any tournament. U-23 or U-22 World Cup.

Indonesia, neighboring and regional rival of Malaysia, was assured of its place in the World Cup. Originally intended to host the 2021 U-20 World Cup, with Peru hosting the U-17 tournament, FIFA has decided that the two countries will host the next editions instead, in 2023.

Apart from Malaysia and Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are other Southeast Asian nations that have also qualified for the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship final.