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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Revised schedule for Merdeka Cup 2023 announced following withdrawal of Palestine

As per the revised schedule, India will play Malaysia at the 90,000-seater Bukit Jalil Stadium here on October 13 and the winners of the contest will face Tajikistan in the final on October 17

Our Bureau Kuala Lumpur Published 11.10.23, 11:00 AM
The Indian football squad and members of the support staff at the Bangalore airport on Monday. India play hosts Malaysia in the Merdeka Cup opener in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.

The Indian football squad and members of the support staff at the Bangalore airport on Monday. India play hosts Malaysia in the Merdeka Cup opener in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. Twitter

The Merdeka Cup football tournament, to be held here from October 13, will be a three-team knockout affair involving India, Tajikistan and hosts Malaysia, following the withdrawal of Palestine from the competition.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) on Tuesday made the change in schedule after Palestine’s last-minute withdrawal from the competition, a release said.

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As per the revised schedule, India will play Malaysia at the 90,000-seater Bukit Jalil Stadium here on October 13 and the winners of the contest will face Tajikistan in the final on October 17.

“The format change is the best solution that has been reached at a special meeting between FAM as the organiser of the 2023 Independence Cup (Merdeka) with the management of the Indian and Tajikistan teams this morning after taking into account the time constraints following the withdrawal of the Palestinian team,” FAM said in a statement.

The teams from India and Tajikistan arrived here on Monday amid torrential downpour and checked into the same hotel.

“I have played here once before, and I still remember the stadium, it was absolutely buzzing,” said India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Indian defender Subhasish Bose said contests against both Malaysia and Tajikistan will help the team prepare for the upcoming challenges. “These will be tough matches against some good sides, and I think they will go a long way in helping us prepare for the Asian Cup and the World Cup Qualifiers,” Bose said.

“Malaysia are a very good team,” he added.

PTI

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