Extra-time for Malaysia's Asian Cup post-mortem

July 27, 2007

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 (Reuters) - Malaysia's under-fire soccer officials have asked for more time from the government to explain why the national team flopped at the Asian Cup.

Ibrahim Saad, general secretary of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), told local media they were unable to meet the Sports Cabinet Committee's request for a Tuesday meeting.

Out of the Asian Cup's four ASEAN host countries, Malaysia were the only team to fare badly, losing all three Group C matches, conceding 12 goals and scoring just once.

'We have to conduct our own post-mortem of the Asian Cup first. We need to get reports from the technical study group and other officials involved,' Ibrahim said in the New Straits Times on Friday.

'We need sufficient time to give the people who are involved to compile the necessary documents, give their opinions and make the necessary recommendations.'

Malaysia's poor performances resulted in the resignation of FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, while the government demanded sweeping changes in the country's soccer structure.

Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia co-hosted the tournament with Malaysia. The final is on Sunday in Jakarta between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.