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Cheng Hoe's charges to get first Hari Raya off

21:32 GMT+3 30/05/2019
Malaysia v Singapore, Airmarine Cup, 20 Mar 2019
Malaysia goalkeeper and team captain Farizal Marlias has come down with a fever, just days before their match against Nepal on Sunday.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Malaysia are scheduled to play in three games in the coming 11 days; against Nepal in a friendly on June 2 and against their first round World Cup/Asian Cup play-off opposition Timor Leste on June 7 and 11.

As the period also coincides with the Muslim festivity of Hari Raya (Eid), Malaysia boss Tan Cheng Hoe has planned a day off training for his charges, on the first day of the celebration, June 5, just two days before their first leg of their encounter against Timor Leste.

"I've told the players on the first day [of centralised training] that their focus needs to be on the friendly and the play-off matches, they must not dwell on Hari Raya.

"But it is a part of our culture, so I will release them for one day; after training on June 4, but they will report back in the evening of the first day of Hari Raya," explained the former Kedah head coach, when asked by Goal just before conducting training on Thursday.

The training session was conducted without goalkeeper Farizal Marlias, who had reportedly come down with a fever. But Cheng Hoe was confident that the custodian, who has been appointed team captain for the three matches, will recover in time.

"I think Farizal will recover soon as it's only a fever," said Cheng Hoe. "I hope he'll be ready for the Nepal game."

All the three encounters will be held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. Timor Leste are the home team of the June 11 encounter, but it will still be played in Kuala Lumpur.

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