"Pahang will officially not be representing Malaysia in the 2018 AFC Cup," said FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin in a statement. FILE PIC

KUALA LUMPUR: Pahang will not be representing the country in the AFC Cup next year, the FA of Malaysia (FAM) announced today.

Pahang FA had been given a deadline of Thursday to reconsider their initial decision not to take up Malaysia's second berth in Asia's second-tier continental competition.

But FAM said Pahang had failed to give a response with the national governing body taking that to mean the Super League runners-up are not interested in playing in the AFC Cup.

"Pahang will officially not be representing Malaysia in the 2018 AFC Cup," said FAM general secretary Datuk Hamidin Amin in a statement.

"FAM did not receive any response from the Pahang FA to participate in it despite being given a deadline of Nov 30."

Pahang had been invited to compete in the AFC Cup after FA Cup winners Kedah were ruled out as they do not hold an AFC licence.

With Pahang's non-response, Hamidin said there will be no replacement for Pahang when the draw for the AFC Cup is made on Dec 6.

"As per the Asian Football Confederation's regulations, the vacancy left by Pahang cannot be filled," said Hamidin, leaving Super League and Malaysia Cup champions Johor Darul Ta'zim as Malaysia's only representative in AFC competitions next year.

JDT face Muangthong United away in the second qualifying round of the AFC Champions League on Jan 23 with the winner advancing to the playoff round against a Japanese club on Jan 30.

Should JDT fail to reach the group stage of the Champions League, they will play in the AFC Cup instead.

Selangor, sixth in the Super League last season, are on standby to play in the AFC Cup if JDT reach the Champions League group stage.

1,186 reads