The Football Association of Malaysia is in a quandary with regards to the preparation of the squad for the 2017 SEA Games.
A meeting between the management and coaching team of the squad with the Secretaries of the various state Football bodies and clubs will be held next week to discuss the preparations.
This is necessary given the fact that the FAM had disbanded the concept of Harmau Muda last year which basically was having the players under FAM control throughout the year.
This had been the practice since Harimau Muda was first formed in 2006 and resulted in the team going on to win the SEA Games gold in 2009.
However due to pressure from the states, FAM scrapped the Program and opted to do call -up's instead of acing the players in house all year around.
It is learnt that the preparations of the team was discussed at the last FAM Exco meeting on August 15 but the consensus was to defer any decision until it was discussed with the teams that have players in the SEA Games squad.
There are three school of thought - to have the players in full time training, to do call ups from time to time and lastly to have the states/clubs release the players three months before the SEA Games.
Should the option of periodic call ups be implemented, Malaysia can forget about making the final, or even the semis of the SEA Games.
With the reluctance of the states, coupled with the financial burden that FAM will be saddled with should the players come into full time training, this option too looks unlikely.
But without having the team together, the initial idea of playing in the Premier League can also be thrown out of the window.
Hence the best option would be seeking the states to release the players 3 months prior to the SEA Games.
Coupled with the two months break in November and December this year, as well as the one month fasting month break for the M- League in addition to the FIFA dates, the team should have a fairly good preparation, although it largely will depend on the training program .
All this will be answered next week when the stakeholders and FAM have an eye to eye meeting.