Malaysia Soccer Betting Odds
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Nicknames: Harimau Malaya (Malayan Tigers)
Head coach: K. Rajagopal
Most caps: Soh Chin Aun (252)
Top scorer: Mokhtar Dahari (125)
Home stadium: National Stadium, Bukit Jalil
Football is unquestionably the number one sport in Malaysia, a country that has a long history of international footballing activity: qualification for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich; third place at the final competition of the 1974 Asian Cup of Nations in Iran; winners of the Merdeka tournament in 1974, defeating Korea Republic in the final; winners of the Merdeka tournament in 1976, overcoming Japan in the final. Malaysia also qualified for the 1980 Olympic Football Tournament in Moscow, and as the host nation of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship, the Malaysian youngsters also graced the tournament. Players such as Dato' M. Chandran (1972 Olympics) and Dato' Soh Chin Aun (1980 Olympics), among others, with Zainal Abidin Hassan perhaps the most famous name in Europe, were the stars of Malaysian football's finest hours.
On 3 December 2006, the Goal Bureau approved the installation of an artificial turf pitch with floodlights in Kuala Lumpur. Manufactured according to international specifications, the facilities provide an all-weather playing surface for the national youth teams and other youth teams at the national football academy in Kuala Lumpur as well as for visiting teams.
AFC World Cup Qualifiers
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is the governing body of association football in Asia. It has 46 member countries, mostly located on the Asian continent. Due to the disputed boundary of Europe and Asia, transcontinental nations such as Turkey and Russia are instead in the UEFA, whereas countries such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Israel are entirely in Asia (Central or Western Asia) and still members of the UEFA. On the other hand, Australia, formerly in the OFC, has been in the AFC since 2006, in the same way as the Oceanian nations of Guam and Northern Mariana Islands, which are also members of AFC.