Merdeka Cup from August 23-29 (15 July 2006)



KUALA LUMPUR: The Merdeka Cup will be held from August 23-29 at the Shah Alam Stadium, announced the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) general secretary Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad on Friday.


Releasing the dates of the tournament, which is staging a comeback after a gap of five years, Dato Seri said that the event was the perfect stage for the four co-hosts – Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam - of the AFC Asian Cup 2007 to finetune their preparations.


“The reason why we choose to organise the Merdeka Tourmanent is to give those teams who will be host of the Asian Cup 2007 the chance to play matches as after all they will not be playing in the qualifiers,” said Dato’ Seri Ibrahim.


“Vietnam, however, will not be able to play because the V-League is still being played.”


“And even though we could not have the matches at the Stadium Merdeka, there is at least the event next year to look forward to,” added Dato Seri, referring to the refurbishment of the traditional venue the Merdeka Stadium.


The Merdeka Cup was first held in 1957 and won by Hong Kong with the Malaysian national team clinching the title in 1958 and 1959.

Uzbekistan won the cup the last time it was played in 2001.



FIXTURES


23rd August, 2006: Myanmar vs Thailand (6.30pm)/Malaysia vs Indonesia


25th August, 2006: Indonesia vs Myanmar (6.30pm)/Thailand vs Malaysia (8.45pm)


27th August, 2006: Thailand vs Indonesia (6.30pm)/ Malaysia vs Myanmar (8.45pm)


29th August, 2006: FINAL



Meanwhile, the Malaysian Olympic team played out a 0-0 draw with their South African counterparts in Braamfontein yesterday.