BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysian football fans and critics have been shocked by the news that only six players have arrived to the Malaysia U22 centralised training camp on Wednesday.
Malaysia U22 head coach Dato' Ong Kim Swee had last month listed the 26 players he wanted for the team's preparations of the 2018 U23 AFC Championship qualifiers and the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, but the media was shocked to learn on Wednesday that only players from Selangor, Felda United, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu have turned up for recovery day (many of them had played for their clubs in matchday 1 of the 2017 Malaysia Cup the night before).
Early Wednesday evening, Kedah announced that they will only release five of their players who have received the call-up on July 12. The players are Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim, Ariff Farhan Md Isa, Amirul Hisyam Awang Kechik, Farhan Roslan and Syafiq Ahmad.
From Wednesday until July 12, the Red Eagles will play in two matches; their Malaysia Cup match against UiTM FC on July 7, and Super League match against Melaka United on July 11. Both are away matches.
According to the club's posting on its social media, they have decided against releasing the quintet on time due to the facts that many of their more-established senior players are still recovering from their injuries, and that M-League clubs have to feature in many matches the month of July.
"For the sake of the country, these five Kedah key members will miss two Super League matches (July 15 and 22), and one Malaysia Cup match (July 18)," the club wrote on its posting.