India to play in revived Merdeka Cup, announces AIFF Secretary General
INDIA WILL PARTICIPATE in the historic Merdeka Tournament when it's revived by FA Malaysia.
In a tweet sent out today, the AIFF Secretary General Shaji Prabhakaran announced that he had spoken to the President of the Malaysian Football Association and confirmed that India would participate in the competition.
Had a fruitful discussion with Malaysian FA Prez.— Shaji Prabhakaran (@Shaji4Football) January 21, 2023
Confirmed India's participation in Merdeka Cup when it is staged.
The Merdeka Tournament is one of the most prestigious international tournaments in the history of Asian football. It was established in 1957 at Stadium Merdeka, the site where Malaysia's declaration of independence took place that same year. It has been 41 times, with the last edition taking place back in 2013.
India have been a prominent participant in this tournament, finishing as the runners up in 1959 and 1964. When talks started in Malaysia about re-starting the competition, the AIFF proactively reached out to them to express their support for the revival and expressed the wish to participate in it.
The #MerdekaCup had created so many opportunities for #IndianFootbal in the past.— Kalyan Chaubey (@kalyanchaubey) October 22, 2022
My request to restart this tournament & have INDIA as one of the invitee participants was warmly greeted by FA Malaysia President Dato Haji Hamidin bin Haji Mohd. Amin.
Thank you@FAM_Malaysia pic.twitter.com/Mo0M1ey0V8
However, recent rumours regarding the possible invitees for the September 2023 edition included Vietnam, Thailand, Syria and Palestine but not India. This caused a wave of criticism against the AIFF.
The elections went wrong. https://t.co/YKvA6qnehW— Blue Pilgrims (@BluePilgrims) January 19, 2023
Today's announcement will come as a relief to Indian football fans who see and celebrate the Merdeka Tournament as a fabled battlegrounds where the golden generation of Blue Tigers left their mark.
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