Likas Stadium could be one of the ideal alternative venues for future international football matches, says James Wong

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk James Wong, a former international player, has proposed that the Football Association of Malaysia should consider finding alternative venues for international matches if the National Stadium is not in optimal condition.


According to FMT, Wong highlighted the availability of football stadiums with excellent playing surfaces, like the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Johor Darul Ta’zim and the Likas Stadium in Sabah.

He emphasised the importance of having top-notch facilities when hosting international matches, stating that it is a host’s responsibility.

Wong also suggested temporarily suspending all non-football activities at the National Stadium to allow the pitch to recover.

On Monday, due to heavy rain, both Malaysia and Oman were unable to hold their training sessions on the pitch, which has drawn criticism from national coach Kim Pan-gon.

Following Malaysia’s 0-2 loss to Oman, the stadium corporation has announced that it will hold a post-mortem meeting with the stadium’s consultants and contractors to discuss the current state of the pitch.

Meanwhile, Stanley Bernard, a former football international and the current CEO of Kuala Lumpur City FC, emphasised the importance of maintaining the national stadium’s pitch in excellent condition, regardless of its usage by the Malaysia Stadium Corporation for football matches or other events like concerts.

He expressed his concern over the reputation of the country, stating, “The reputation of the country is at stake,” in response to the intense criticism regarding the pitch’s condition during the World Cup qualifier between Malaysia and Oman on Tuesday.

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