Harimau Muda 'A' who were 'caged' from playing in the local league and snubbed by the Singapore S-League, will make a quantum leap by competing in the Slovakia Under-21 league.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad said they (Harimau Muda A) would be sent to Slovakia to compete in the country's local league.
"They will compete in the league from February to May and play 14 matches, plus a number of friendly matches from time to time," he told reporters after the FAM executive council meeting here today.
"After playing in the Slovakian league, the team would compete in the Obama Cup in the United States and undergo training in Indonesia during the month of July before competing in the Newspaper Cup in Vietnam (October)."
Redzuan said finance for the team that was being prepared for the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia, would be borne by FAM, but added that FAM would try to absorb the team into the M-League, next season.
The fate of the team remained in a limbo following a decision by FAM on Dec 7, to bar Harimau Muda 'A' from playing in the Super League, so that they could play in the S-League.
FAM's plans however, fell flat when Singapore dropped a bombshell by not accepting the team to play in their S-League while any attempts to return to the M-League was dashed since the league had already started and the fact that affiliates were not keen the give the team a chance to play.
Meanwhile, FAM President Sultan Ahmad Shah took affiliates to task for preventing Harimau Muda A from playing in the M-league.
He said the move was a step backward, especially at a time when the whole country remains buoyant of the national team's victory at the Laos SEA Games, and they should have been committed towards improving and developing our young team.
"Unfortunately, the opposite happened and it led to FAM being criticized. We also had to look for other alternatives to accommodate the playing need of the team," said Sultan Ahmad after chairing a FAM executive council meeting at Wisma FAM, here on Sunday.
Sultan Ahmad Shah said the action of affiliates showed signs of selfishness and lack of foresight. BERNAMA