KUALA LUMPUR: Mohamadou Sumareh, the nation’s first foreign-born naturalised player, hopes to repay Malaysia for everything the country has done for him all these years.
He moved to Malaysia with his parents from Gambia in 2004 was he was only 13-years-old.
The former Maz International School and Segi College student feels he is indebted to Malaysia for granting him citizenship and also to include him in the national training squad.
However, some in Gambia are unhappy with his move.
“The Gambia coach has always supported me, he’s not mad or angry, and my decision was in the news there.
“Some, however, have questioned why I have opted not represent Gambia. It is simple... I am proud to call Malaysia my home now,” said Sumareh, who started his professional career with Police in the M-League in 2013.
On the national call-up, Sumareh said life has been pretty hectic and that the pressure is mounting on him to prove his worth.
“I feel a little bit of pressure because people on the street recognise me and are coming up and saying they want to see me play. So now, I have to prove my worth to all Malaysians. It’s crazy,” he said.
Sumareh is also unperturbed with news reports questioning his eligibility when he first played for Police in 2013.
“Everything is fine. I think some just want to bring me down.
“I’m happy, the whole country is happy so why are some trying to bring me down?
“Life has its challenges and I have to overcome them,” he added.
Sumareh reported for his first national training session at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka today.
Malaysia will play Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday, followed by Kyrgyzstan in Melaka four days later.