Malaysia halts football naturalisation after W. Cup failure

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A drive to ramp up Malaysia’s footballing fortunes with naturalised players has failed, critics say, with the national team no nearer a first World Cup appearance and soul-searching about the state of the game in the country. Football is among the most popular sports in the nation of more than 30 million people but at international level Malaysia are minnows – 154th in the FIFA rankings, a spot below tiny Andorra. Long-suffering Malaysian fans had high hopes when football authorities launched the naturalisation programme in 2018, ahead of qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and several…

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