Overseas-based Luqman, Nooa available for Under-23 Asian Cup qualifiers

KUALA LUMPUR: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) has hinted that overseas-based Luqman Hakim Shamsudin and Nooa Laine will be available for the Under-23 Asian Cup qualifiers in Chonburi, Thailand, in September.

Striker Luqman Hakim, 21, plays for Iceland club Njardvik FC while Finnish-Malaysian midfielder Nooa, 20, represents Finnish club SJK Seinajoki.

FAM president Datuk Hamidin Amin said the qualifiers will be held during the Fifa international window.

"FAM have contacted Luqman Hakim and Nooa and they can be released this time," he told reporters today.

Malaysia are in Group H with hosts Thailand, Bangladesh and the Philippines in the qualifiers.

The group winners and the four best second-placed teams will advance to next year's Under-23 Asian Cup. The top three teams in the tournament proper will qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Elaborating, Hamidin hopes coach E. Elavarasan will help improve the team's performance.

The team will first gauge their standard at the AFF Under-23 Championship in Chonburi from Aug 17-26.

"But, we must remember that the AFF Under-23 event is not in the Fifa calendar. Many players will not be released (by their clubs), so he (Elavarasan) will try out some new players," Hamidin added.

Elavarasan's side crashed out in the group stage at the recent Phnom Penh Sea Games. The tournament was held outside the international window. - Bernama

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