KUALA LUMPUR: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have come up with a list of foreign-born players who could one day represent the country.
However, the process of naturalising is complicated as FAM first need to make sure these players fulfil the criteria set by Fifa.
Under Fifa rules, players must have ancestral ties to the country which they wish to represent with either a parent or grandparent born there.
It also reads that a player must live for at least five years after reaching the age of 18 on the territory of the relevant association and has never played for any other national team.
FAM deputy president Datuk Yusoff Mahadi said: “According to our selection panel, there are not many on the list.
“The others did not fulfil Fifa’s criteria or were lacking in terms of performance,” he said.
Yusoff said Kosovo’s Liridon Krasniqi may have met the panel’s criteria, but his injury is a concern.
“We will monitor his form and injury for at least three months before deciding on the next course of action,” he said.
Krasniqi is currently in Germany for treatment following a thigh injury. Although, Melaka have not announced officially, Krasniqi is expected to be released soon by the Super League club.
FAM are also keen on naturalising Kuala Lumpur striker Guilherme De Paula (of Brazil) and UKM FC’s forward Michael Ijezie (of Nigeria) but they may not qualify as they had short stints outside Malaysia in the last five years.
Meanwhile, FAM have confirmed that Kuala Lumpur will also host the return leg of the 2022 Fifa World Cup-2023 Asian Cup preliminary round match between Malaysia and Timor Leste.
The first leg and return leg on June 7 and June 11 will be held at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The decision was made by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) together with the respective national bodies as Timor Leste do not have a proper venue for the return leg.
The national team will face Nepal before the qualifiers in a friendly on June 2.