MALAYSIAN football ranking, at club level, is rising in Asia.
This has come about after Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), KL City and Kedah progressed to the next stage of the Asian Champions League (ACL) and AFC Cup.
Malaysia have improved their standing on the AFC club east zone table and are now fourth with 45.510 points.
This will see Malaysian clubs earning more places — by virtue of a 2+2 slots — in the ACL group stage and the playoffs for 2025-2026.
Japan lead the table with 88.522 points, followed by South Korea (81.061) and Hong Kong (58.302).
Malaysia, with a surge of 27.875 points in club competitions alone, surpassed Vietnam (fifth), Thailand, China, Singapore, North Korea and Australia.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) general secretary Datuk Seri Windsor Paul said it was high time Malaysia made an impact in Asian competitions, and in fact, he had expected them to do so earlier.
"I think it is long overdue as they are in a professional league. Malaysian teams should be there all the time," said Windsor today.
"It (the rise in Asian ranking) could be due to privatisation of the clubs or the level of the players have improved in the M-League, but we (AFC) are happy every time teams qualify to the next stage as we expect big countries to do better.
"Big football nations means they have more resources, professional leagues and it is good to see these teams, but the competition isn't over yet. They still need to win the next stage."