Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) today announced that Pahang are officially out of the 2018 AFC Cup after the team did not submit any form of response prior to the November 30 deadline given.
Last month, Football Association of Pahang have already stated that they will not be sending their team to the AFC Cup after the slot was given to them following Kedah's failure to secure an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) club licensing.
However, FAM wanted to give Pahang more time to mull over the decision, hoping for a change of heart but to no avail.
This latest decision is a big setback to Malaysian football as AFC rules state that no replacement is allowed if a team decides to pull-out from the competition.
Hence Malaysia will only have one representative in the 2018 competition if Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) fail to make it through to the AFC Champions League group stage.
Having seen Malaysia's rise in the AFC Club Rankings over the course of the last few seasons that culminated in Malaysia securing a direct spot into the 2019 AFC Champions League, this decision could threaten that direct spot in the future.
It all makes for a very strange situation where the Kedah's management despite their failed regulatory compliance, were desperate to be in the competition while another team just couldn't be bothered.
One step forward and two steps backwards it is for Malaysian football.