Saturday, November 15, 2008

Khairy: Rise due to hard work

MALAYSIA'S world ranking is 151 and FA of Malaysia deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) is a happy man.

The national team's Fifa ranking has been rising steadily over the last two months -- it was 170 in August -- and Khairy said this is due to the hard work of the players and coach B. Sathianathan.

"This is a good development as the rise will motivate the players. The rise is also proof that the players and Sathianathan have been working hard," said Khairy yesterday.

Khairy, who is the national team manager, said the team's October ranking was 160.

"The Merdeka Tournament final appearance saw the team earning 43 points and that helped us move up nine places."

The team are currently playing in the Grand Challenge Cup in Myanmar and defeated Vietnam, their conquerors in the Merdeka Tournament final, 3-0 in their first match.

Yesterday, they qualified for the semi-finals after holding Hyundai Ulsan FC of South Korea 1-1.

However, Malaysia are still a long way from their best ever ranking of 75, achieved in August, 1993. -- CHRISTOPHER RAJ