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Kosovo-born Liridon may be listed to face UAE

PETALING JAYA, Naturalised player Liridon Krasniqi may get to represent Malaysia in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup qualifiers match against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai in March.

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said it was working to ensure that the Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) midfielder was registered before the deadline for registration of players on March 20.

Liridon, 28, will complete his five-year stay in Malaysia on March 25, which is one of the conditions set by the International Football Federation (FIFA) for a naturalised player to represent his adopted country.

“After doing some research and discussions, we feel that there is no barrier for Liridon to represent Malaysia in the near future. Based on the five-year term, we believe he can be listed in the national team before the match against the UAE.

“We have to wait for FIFA’s confirmation in the next two weeks as they may have certain calculation methods. If all our documentation and calculations are done correctly, Liridon will be with the national team,” he told reporters at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya here today.

The Harimau Malaya squad under the guidance of head coach Tan Cheng Hoe are scheduled to face the UAE in the Group G qualifying round at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on March 26, a day after Liridon completes his five-year stint in Malaysia.

The UAE recently were reported to have ‘imported’ three new players from Latin America, Sebastian Lucas Taglibue of Argentina and Brazilians Caio Canedo Correa and Fabio Virginio de Lima in an effort to strengthen the team.

Liridon, who has played for Melaka and Kedah, will be the second naturalised player after Pahang winger Mohamadou Sumareh, who donned national colours in 2018.

Meanwhile, Stuart said the Kosovo-born player, who became a Malaysian citizen after receiving his identity card (MyKad) at the Putrajaya National Registration Department (NRD) headquarters today, was excited to fulfil his dream of representing the Malaysian team.

“He (Liridon) asked me when he will be called up for the national squad. That was the first question when he met me today and that showed his passion to wear the national team jersey,” Stuart said.

At the same time, Stuart said the naturalisation process for Perak striker Guilherme De Paula, who is also on the FAM radar, would be known in the near future.

De Paula’s application will take a little while as there are a few things to be done to ensure we meet FIFA’s requirements. I hope it can be resolved in one or two weeks to ensure De Paula can wear the national jersey,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA (News Agency)

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