Malaysia national football team

The Malaysia national football team represents Malaysia in international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). The national team was founded for the 1963 Merdeka Tournament one month before the establishment of Malaysia. The Malaysia national football team is recognised by FIFA as the successor of the defunct Malaya national football team and is nicknamed Harimau Malaya in reference to the Malayan tiger.

Nickname(s)Harimau Malaya
(Malayan Tigers)[1]
Skuad Kebangsaan
(National Team)
AssociationFootball Association of Malaysia (FAM)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationAFF (Southeast Asia)
Head coachTan Cheng Hoe
CaptainAidil Zafuan
Most capsSoh Chin Aun (114)
Top scorerZainal Abidin Hassan (78)[2]
Home stadiumBukit Jalil National Stadium
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 154 (19 December 2019)[3]
Highest75 (August 1993)
Lowest178 (March 2018)
Elo ranking
Current 158 18 (25 November 2019)[4]
Highest61 (1 March 1977)
Lowest185 (September 2018)
First international
 Malaysia 1–1 Thailand 
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; 12 October 1963)[n 1]
Biggest win
 Malaysia 11–0 Philippines 
(Tehran, Iran; 7 September 1974)
Biggest defeat
 United Arab Emirates 10–0 Malaysia 
(Abu Dhabi, UAE; 3 September 2015)
AFC Asian Cup
Appearances3 (first in 1976)
Best resultGroup stage, 1976, 1980 and 2007

It is one of the successful teams in Southeast Asia along with Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, winning bronze at the Asian Games in 1974 as well winning the ASEAN Football Championship in 2010 and other competitions while improving at the same time. However, Malaysia fails to achieve greater honour outside Southeast Asia; although they have participated in the Summer Olympics once and three AFC Asian Cup, the team failed to progress beyond the group stage in all occasion.

In the FIFA World Rankings, Malaysia's highest standing was in the first release of the figures, in August 1993, at 75th. Malaysia's main rival on the international stage are their geographical neighbours, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore, and past matches between these three teams have produced much drama. With fixture involving Indonesia being the most heated in the region that corresponds to political and social issues, named as 'Nusantara Derby' or sometimes 'Malay Derby'.[6]


The Harimau Malaya nickname have been used by the team's predecessor, Malaya national football team. The nickname referred to the national animal of Malaysia, the Malayan tiger.[7][8] Another source stated the name was believed to have been derived from a Malayan football player from Stulang Laut, Johor named Abdullah Mohd Don (Dollah Don) after he had been called "Harimau Malaya" by the founding father of Indonesia, Sukarno when he managed to equalise against an Indonesian football club by scoring a hat-trick in a match between Singaporean Malay Club and Peseja (Persija Jakarta) in 1953 after trailing 3 goals behind them.[9][10] Although the Federation of Malaysia was formed on 16 September 1963, the nickname is still used by the national squad, thus sparking some debates whether it was appropriate as most Malaysian in the East felt the "Malaya" term does not cover the whole country.[11] Some supporters in the East felt offended when the media in the West Malaysia kept using the term and dismissed their concerns. Some party in the West even insensitively said that it is just a small matter and the naming issue had been politicised as the term "Malayan tiger" came from an endangered endemic tiger subspecies in Malay Peninsula rather than a geopolitical reason.[12][13][14]

As part of rebranding of the national football team by FAM from 2 February 2016 onward, the nickname Harimau Malaya was officially changed to Harimau Malaysia in a bid to be more inclusive to the East Malaysian side.[15][16] The Harimau Malaysia nickname was also used to refer the former national player, Shaharuddin Abdullah. Since the 1970s, he was known as "Harimau Malaysia" by the football fans due to his ability to score many goals. He once scored 15 goals for Malaysia in the Merdeka Cup tournament which stood as a record for years.[17] However, during FAM congress in March 2017, it was decided that drastic measures will be taken to restructure all aspect of the national football organisation and management.[18] This include the restoration of the old moniker of the team, Harimau Malaya starting from 3 April 2017 after using the term Harimau Malaysia for only one year.[19][1] The sudden changes had also affected all related websites and social media as they went through rebranding. The Harimau Malaysia website has been taken down and all the updates concerning the national team will be posted on FAM website.[1]


Early history

Football, along with other sports such as rugby, golf and hockey was introduced into the present-day Malaysia by the British.[20] By the 19th century, football had become the central pillars in most sports clubs in British Malaya although it lacked in organisational structure during the early stage of their inceptions.[21] In 1921, HMS Malaya made several visits to a few ports in the Malay Peninsula.[20][22] The ship called at Port Swettenham, Singapore, Malacca, Penang and Port Dickson with its crews playing with the locals throughout their journey.[20][23] Three months after the ship returned to Europe, its captain H. T. Buller sent a letter to the Chief Secretary of the Federated Malay States to offered two cups; one to be competed for rugby and the other for football as a token of gratitude for the warm welcome the ship had received throughout their visits.[24] The cup for the football was later named "Malaya Cup" (renamed as Malaysia Cup in 1967).[20][23] Football began to spread rapidly throughout the region following the establishment of the cup although the composition of the teams at the time were mainly based on ethnic background.[21][22][25] With the growing local football culture and rivalries among them, the Football Association of Malaya (FAM) was established in Singapore in 1933 as the successor of Malaya Football Association in 1926.[26] The FAM was later relocated into the Malay Peninsula after the Second World War.[21] In British Borneo, football also become the most popular choice of sports in Malay schools.[27]

Early years (1963–1969)

Before the establishment of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, North Borneo (now Sabah), Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore were represented by their own national teams, a situation which pre-dated the establishment of a Malaysia.[28] Malaya and Singapore usually competed in an international competition such as the Merdeka Tournament while North Borneo and Sarawak competed in Borneo Cup. Malaya's biggest achievement in football was becoming the bronze medalist of the 1962 Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia after defeating South Vietnam 4–1.[20]

The beginning of Malaysia football team match took place in Merdeka Stadium on 8 August 1963 with the combined strength of Singapore and Malaya (although the federation was only existed after 16 September 1963). With the combined forces of Malaya and Singapore, the team start their match with Japan, thought lost 3–4.[29] The team continued to use combination of players from Singapore and Malay Peninsula until the formation of the Malaysia, wherein the Football Association of Malaya was succeeded by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).[21] The combination players with Singapore ended when the latter separated from Malaysia along with the establishment of Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and their subsequent reaffiliation with FIFA in 1965.[30] Since then the squad was only represented by West Malaysian players, mainly due to difficulties of that time to travel to East Malaysia and the players were not well known to mainstream West Malaysian football.

Asia's most formidable (1970–1980)

In 1971, James Wong of Sabah is the first player from East Malaysia to represent the country.[31][32] Malaysia qualified for the 1972 Olympics in Munich, beating Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines along the way. Although they managed to defeat the United States 3–0, they lost the other 2 matches with a score of 0–3 to West Germany and 0–6 to Morocco, ranking 10th in the final standings. From 1972, Mokhtar Dahari is considered as the legend footballer for the Malaysian team as he booked his place as one of the best players in Asia.[33] He manage to score 175 goals, of which the 175 goals for Selangor FA, 20 goals in 13 appearances for Kwong Yik Bank and another 125 goals for the national team, giving a total of 320 goals in his career.[34][35]

Together with the record of Soh Chin Aun, it is however not recognised by FIFA.[36] Two years later, Malaysia won their second bronze medal at the 1974 Asian Games after defeating North Korea 2–1. The team went on to qualify twice in a row for the AFC Asian Cup, in 1976 and 1980. It was only in 1977; when the FAM sent a talent scout to the East.[37][38] The list continued by the late James Yaakub of Sarawak in 1977. The team also won the Merdeka Tournament three times, became runner-up four times and achieved third place twice during the 1970s. Malaysia qualified again for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, but joined the US-led boycott of the games as the Malaysian government made a decision to protest the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan.[39][40][41]

1976 AFC Asian Cup

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Kuwait 220030+34
 China PR 201112−11
 Malaysia 201113−21

Malaysia participated the 1976 AFC Asian Cup for the first time, meeting Kuwait and China. During the tournament, Malaysia performed worse in the first match, losing 0–2 to Kuwait but managed to held China 1–1 in the second match.

1980 AFC Asian Cup

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 South Korea 4310102+87
 Kuwait 421185+35
 Malaysia 41215504
 Qatar 411238−53
 United Arab Emirates 401339−61

Malaysia participated the 1980 AFC Asian Cup for the second time, meeting South Korea, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. During the tournament, Malaysia managed to held South Korea 1–1 in the first match, despite losing 1–3 to Kuwait before regaining a 2–0 victory against United Arab Emirates and holding Qatar 1–1 in their last match.

Falling performances and drought (1990–2009)

In 1994, Malaysian football was embroiled in one of the largest bribery scandals in the country.[42][43] With the dearth of mainstream interest and lack of funds, Malaysian football has failed to repeat the achievements of the 1970s and 1980s, despite the recruitment of Claude LeRoy. Allan Harris appointed as a new head coach in 2001. Harris came with strong credentials, having assisted Terry Venables at FC Barcelona. In the second half of 2004, FAM appoint Bertalan Bicskei, former Hungarian goalkeeper and national coach, to succeed Allan Harris. Bicskei led the national side to third place at the regional Tiger Cup tournament, but was demoted to youth development duties by FAM for his actions during a friendly against Singapore in Penang on 8 June 2005. Bicskei, disgusted by the standard of officiating, threw a bottle onto the pitch before confronting a Singapore player. In September 2005, his contract was terminated after a mutual agreement.[44]

Norizan Bakar became the next head coach of the Malaysian team. He guided the Malaysian squad to the 2007 AFF Championship semifinals in 2007, where Malaysia lost through penalties to Singapore. Norizan's position as the head coach was criticised by the Malaysian football community, fans and officials alike, after the team's performances during the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, where Malaysia lost to China 1–5, Uzbekistan 0–5 and Iran 0–2. After the removal of Norizan Bakar, B. Sathianathan took over as head coach. Although he guided the squad to win the 2007 Merdeka Tournament, Malaysia once again failed to qualify for the World Cup after losing 1–4 and drawing 0–0 with Bahrain in the qualifying round. In March 2008, Sathianathan once again reach the final of the Merdeka Tournament. However, Malaysia lost on penalties to Vietnam. Sathianathan also led Malaysia to the semi finals of the 2008 Myanmar Grand Royal Challenge Cup. However, Malaysia then shockingly lost 1–4 to eventual winners, Myanmar.[45]

During the 2008 AFF Championship, Malaysia started their campaign with a 3–0 win over Laos, but were defeated in the second match by Vietnam with a score of 2–3 and were finally eliminated when they lost 0–3 to Thailand in the final match of the group stage. This was the first time that the Malaysian squad had not passed through the group stages in 12 years. There are also reports that match-fixing and bribery that infiltrate the Malaysian football in the 1994 are returned.[46] In the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers, the Malaysian team lost 0–5 to the United Arab Emirates. This defeat was the final straw in the eyes of Malaysian supporters, and in February 2009, the contracts of Sathianathan and manager Soh Chin Aun were terminated.[47]

AFF Championship triumph (2010)

In April 2009, K. Rajagopal was named the new coach of Malaysia replacing B. Sathianathan as head coach of Malaysia. He took over the position in July 2009, of which he also the coach of the Malaysia Under-23 squad.[49] Rajagopal's first match was against Zimbabwe, which Malaysia won 4–0.[50] Rajagopal also coached Malaysia in two games against visiting English champions, Manchester United, losing both matches 2–3 and 0–2. During his time as the coach of the Under-23 team, Rajagopal led Malaysia to their fifth SEA Games gold medal and also led Malaysia to qualify for the second round of the 2010 Asian Games as one of the best four third-placed teams after a lapse of 32 years.[51][52]

During the 2010 AFF Championship, Malaysia had 14 players that were under the age of 23 while the other players were over 23. Malaysia were in group A with host Indonesia, Thailand and qualifiers winner, Laos. Malaysia began their campaign with an embarrassing 1–5 loss to Indonesia. Malaysia bounced back from their defeat and later drew with Thailand and beat Laos 5–1. As runner up of group, Malaysia qualified for the semi finals to meet Group B winners and defending champions Vietnam. In the first leg of the semifinal, Malaysia won 2–0 on home soil and later drew 0–0 in the second leg, advancing to the final with an aggregate of 2–0.[53] In the finals, Malaysia met favourites Indonesia, who were unbeaten in all their matches.

On the first leg of the finals, Malaysia won 3–0 at home. Malaysia scored twice through Safee Sali and once through Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin on a night when Bukit Jalil National Stadium was filled over capacity for the first time since it was built. The match attracted so many people that after tickets were sold out, policemen manning the gates were seen allowing friends and relatives into the stadium, causing people having to trespass onto the cable bridge above the electronic display besides standing on the aisles and corridors to view the game. On the second leg of the finals that was held in Jakarta, Malaysia lost 1–2 to Indonesia but the final aggregate was 4–2 to Malaysia, thus Malaysia were awarded the title. It was the first time in history that Malaysia were crowned the champions of AFF Championship and a trophy in the international stage.[54]

Hope for resurgence (2011–present)

Since the 2010s, the expectations to regain their success in the 1980s are rising despite the team still failed to deliver any new high achievements records.[55] In June 2014, Dollah Salleh replaced Rajagobal as the head coach after his contract has ended.[56] Dollah guiding Malaysia to the final of the 2014 AFF Championship but failed to replicate the same form as the previous head coach. In international fixtures, the coach has also recorded a lose of 0–6 to Oman and Palestine as well as 1–1 draw against Timor-Leste. However, the 0–10 defeat to the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia worst ever defeat in 50 years, have prompted his resignation as the head coach.[57] The place was taken by interim coach Ong Kim Swee who later promoted as the head coach until the end of March 2017.[58] The official coaching post then was taken over by Portuguese coach Nelo Vingada in the hope to raise the Malaysian football performances. On 13 June, Malaysia played their first match in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification against Lebanon. Despite having a 1–0 lead during the first half, they eventually lost the match with a score 1–2.[59] Malaysia's poor performance however, continued. Despite given high hope and expectation from the match against Hong Kong, Malaysia only managed a 1–1 draw, before losing to the same team 0–2 in Hong Kong. As for the result, frustration happened in the team and Malaysia had suffered two consecutive defeats on the hand of North Korea, both ended 1–4. Malaysia also losing the second final matches against Lebanon in Beirut by 1–2. With only 1 draw and 5 defeats, Malaysia subsequently eliminated from the qualification.[60] The coaching position was taken over by the team assistant coach Tan Cheng Hoe in late 2017 after Vingada stepped down following a string of poor results.[61]

After the failure to qualify into the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the qualification, Malaysia proceed their journey in the 2018 AFF Championship where they was grouped with rival Vietnam together with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. Malaysia managed a fine performance, won the second place with three wins and one loss to Vietnam, especially the crucial 3–0 win to Myanmar that allowed the team to progress into the semi-finals.[62] By qualifying as the group runners-up, Malaysia faced Thailand, the fierce rival in their long-time head to head records as well the reigning champions in the tournament where they able to overcame the latter by holding them 2–2 in Thai home stadium of Bangkok, winning the match by away goals rule in one of the tournament's greatest shock despite being tied 0–0 earlier at home.[63][64] Having qualify to the final, they meet Vietnam again and held the latter 2–2 at home before losing 0–1 in Vietnam's home ground of Hanoi, subsequently finishing the tournament with an aggregate of 2–3 as the runners-up for the third time in their AFF Cup history.[65] Despite their failure to achieve the AFF Cup for the second time, the successful performance of Malaysia was seen with the emergence of new talents coming from its youth football development which brought a hope for the future of Malaysian football.[7][66]

Malaysia participated in 2022 World Cup campaign from the first round due to poor record previously, but with its first opponent was only Timor-Leste, Malaysia easily destroyed the Timorese 12–2 on aggregate.[67] There, they joined the second round where the team was surprisingly grouped in a group containing three other Southeast Asian rivals Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam; alongside the United Arab Emirates. Malaysia opened their game with a 3–2 comeback victory over rival Indonesia in a match with full scandal and strong Anti-Malaysian sentiment among Indonesians.[68] It was followed by an unlucky 1–2 home loss to the UAE, and to add the irony, Malaysia took the lead from early minute only to see itself being beaten at home.[69] The next encounter against rival Vietnam in Hanoi, which was the rematch of 2018 AFF Championship, ended with another Malaysian defeat as the Malay Tigers fell 0–1.[70] However, Malaysia has not been eliminated as the team can still get an opportunity to qualify further. Then, Malaysia managed one of the most famous victories in their FIFA World Cup campaign, beating neighbor and regional powerhouse Thailand 2–1 at home to keep its dream alive.[71] Malaysia boosted its confidence with its victory over Thailand to overcome a demoralized Indonesia, also at home, 2–0, to occupy second spot behind Vietnam and above Thailand.[72]

Team image

Media coverage

All Malaysia team matches are shown live on Astro Arena (friendlies, World Cup (2nd round only), and Asian Cup qualifiers), RTM (AFF Championship matches (except 2014 season), World Cup, and Asian Cup qualifiers), and Media Prima (AFF Championship matches for 2014 season only). All matches are broadcast with both English (Astro only) and Malaysian commentary.[73]


Kit provider Period Ref
Adidas 1970–2007
Nike 2007–present [74]
2010 AFF Cup Final 2nd leg kit

From the 1970s to 2007, the national team kit was manufactured by Adidas, who also sponsored the national team kit. Since 2007, the official Malaysia team kit is manufactured by Nike. The home kit design of black and yellow stripes is a throwback to the kit used by Malayan national team in the 1920s. The great national team of the 1970s also sported similar stripes, which are supposed to be reminiscent of the stripes of a tiger, the symbol of Malaysia's national football team.

In November 2010, Nike Malaysia created a new football kit for the Malaysians specially made for the 2010 AFF Championship. The home kit's design of black and yellow stripes is shaped by a black row of lines. The away kit features a plain blue front and red and white at the edge of the sleeves. Nike used the Malaysian flag as their logo instead of putting the Football Association of Malaysia logo to remembering the team success in the 1970s.[75] On the underside of the flag, the quote "Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku" (The land that I spill my blood for) can be found. The quote is part of the Malaysia National Anthem, alluding that they are doing their best for the country.

The practice of using the flag on the kits ended when Malaysia got a new kit in late 2016. They have the FAM logo on the kits.


Home Stadium

Malaysia's home stadium is the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. The stadium capacity is 87,411 (seated)[76] which makes it the eighth largest football stadium in the world. Malaysia's previous national stadium was the Merdeka Stadium before the Bukit Jalil sports complex was constructed. Malaysia also uses other stadiums for their matches such as the Kuala Lumpur Stadium.

Malaysia national football team home stadiums
Image Stadium Capacity Location Last match
Bukit Jalil National Stadium 87,411 Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur v   Indonesia
(19 November 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification)
Kuala Lumpur Stadium 18,000 Cheras, Kuala Lumpur v   Fiji
(5 July 2018; Friendly)

Training ground

Wisma FAM is the main headquarters for the Football Association of Malaysia which located at Kelana Jaya, Malaysia. The training facility for the Malaysia national football team also located at the Wisma FAM. Others than that, it also serves as a meeting point for the coaches and national players. Also equipped with a room for press statement and small apartment rooms available for the national players during the training camp. Sometimes, ticket matches also sold on this training facility.


Ultras Malaya is the name of the major supporters for the national team in Malaysia. They are known for their high fanaticism and support towards the national team. In every international match the national team played, they are found in a group standing at the supporters area. The main colours for these supporter are usually in black with a yellow scarf and banners just like the national team kits colours. These supporters always bring flares, drums and large national flags to the stadiums.[77]


According to the website of Football Association of Malaysia, Malaysia main sponsors include Telekom Malaysia, Bank Islam, Yakult, Nike, 100plus, One Goal, MYCAT and Malaysia Airlines.[78]


Foreign-born player

Current squad

The following is a list of 23 players that were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round against  Thailand and  Indonesia on 14 and 19 November 2019 respectively.[79] Caps and goals are correct as of 19 November 2019, after the match against Indonesia.[80]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Farizal Marlias (1986-06-29) 29 June 1986 46 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim
2 2DF Matthew Davies (1995-02-07) 7 February 1995 29 0 Pahang
3 2DF Shahrul Saad (1993-07-08) 8 July 1993 40 4 Perak
4 2DF Syahmi Safari (1998-02-05) 5 February 1998 18 1 Selangor
5 2DF Adam Nor Azlin (1996-01-05) 5 January 1996 15 1 Johor Darul Ta'zim
6 2DF La'Vere Corbin-Ong (1991-04-22) 22 April 1991 10 1 Johor Darul Ta'zim
7 2DF Aidil Zafuan Radzak (1987-08-03) 3 August 1987 87 3 Johor Darul Ta'zim
8 3MF Azam Azih (1995-01-03) 3 January 1995 13 0 Pahang
9 4FW Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (1986-06-08) 8 June 1986 80 14 Pahang
11 4FW Safawi Rasid (1997-03-05) 5 March 1997 27 10 Johor Darul Ta'zim
12 3MF Afiq Fazail (1994-09-29) 29 September 1994 4 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim
13 4FW Mohamadou Sumareh (1994-09-20) 20 September 1994 19 6 Pahang
14 3MF Syamer Kutty Abba (1997-10-01) 1 October 1997 19 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim
15 3MF Brendan Gan Seng Ling (1988-06-03) 3 June 1988 15 1 Perak
16 2DF Syazwan Andik Ishak (1996-08-04) 4 August 1996 18 1 Johor Darul Ta'zim
17 3MF Baddrol Bakhtiar (1988-02-01) 1 February 1988 58 5 Kedah
18 2DF Dominic Tan Jun Jin (1997-03-12) 12 March 1997 2 0 Police Tero
19 4FW Akhyar Rashid (1999-05-01) 1 May 1999 23 4 Johor Darul Ta'zim
20 4FW Syafiq Ahmad (1995-06-28) 28 June 1995 18 8 Johor Darul Ta'zim
22 1GK Khairulazhan Khalid (1989-11-07) 7 November 1989 12 0 Selangor
23 1GK Haziq Nadzli (1998-01-06) 6 January 1998 1 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim II
25 3MF Danial Amier Norhisham (1997-03-27) 27 March 1997 2 0 FELDA United
26 3MF Azzizan Nordin (1994-03-07) 7 March 1994 2 0 Sabah

Recent call-ups

The following footballers were part of a national selection in 2019, but are not part of the current squad.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy (1993-03-30) 30 March 1993 9 0 Perak 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round, 10 October 2019, v.  Vietnam
GK Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim (1996-08-10) 10 August 1996 1 0 Kedah 30 October 2019 Centralized TrainingDROP
GK Zarif Irfan Hashimuddin (1995-02-21) 21 February 1995 0 0 PKNS 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round, 11 June 2019 ,v.  Timor-Leste
GK Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (1989-01-07) 7 January 1989 55 0 Melaka United 2019 AIRMARINE Cup

DF Nazirul Naim Che Hashim (1993-04-06) 6 April 1993 21 0 Perak 9 November 2019 v.  Tajikistan
DF Irfan Zakaria (1995-06-04) 4 June 1995 12 1 Kuala Lumpur 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round, 10 October 2019, v.  Vietnam
DF Rodney Celvin Akwensivie (1996-11-25) 25 November 1996 0 0 PKNS 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round, v.  Timor-LestePRE
DF Rizal Ghazali (1992-10-01) 1 October 1992 12 0 Kedah 2019 AIRMARINE Cup
DF Latiff Suhaimi (1989-05-29) 29 May 1989 3 0 Selangor 2019 AIRMARINE Cup
DF Nicholas Swirad (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 0 0 PKNS 2019 AIRMARINE Cup PRE

MF Halim Saari (1994-11-14) 14 November 1994 5 0 Selangor 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round, 10 October 2019, v.  Vietnam
MF Akram Mahinan (1993-01-19) 19 January 1993 26 0 PKNS 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round, 10 October 2019, v.  Vietnam
MF Faiz Nasir (1992-07-21) 21 July 1992 3 2 Selangor v.  Jordan, 30 August 2019 PRE
MF Kenny Pallraj Davaragi (1993-04-21) 21 April 1993 7 0 Perak 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round, 11 June 2019, v.  Timor-Leste
MF Firdaus Saiyadi (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 0 0 Perak 2019 AIRMARINE Cup PRE

FW Farhan Roslan (1996-12-03) 3 December 1996 1 0 Kedah 9 November 2019 v.  Tajikistan
FW Shahrel Fikri Fauzi (1994-10-17) 17 October 1994 15 5 Perak 9 November 2019 v.  Tajikistan
FW Partiban Janasekaran (1992-11-28) 28 November 1992 2 0 Perak 5 October 2019 v.  Sri LankaPRE
FW Hadin Azman (1994-07-02) 2 July 1994 9 1 FELDA United 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Second Round, 5 September 2019, v.  Indonesia
FW Hazwan Bakri (1991-06-19) 19 June 1991 32 7 Johor Darul Ta'zim v.  Jordan, 30 August 2019
FW Jafri Firdaus Chew (1997-06-07) 7 June 1997 0 0 PKNS v.  Jordan, 30 August 2019 PRE
FW Syazwan Zainon (1989-11-13) 13 November 1989 18 2 Selangor 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round, 11 June 2019, v.  Timor-Leste
FW Faisal Halim (1998-01-07) 7 January 1998 1 0 Pahang 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC First Round, 11 June 2019, v.  Timor-Leste
FW Zaquan Adha Radzak (1987-08-03) 3 August 1987 48 12 Kedah 2019 AIRMARINE Cup
FW Kumaahran Sathasivam (1996-07-03) 3 July 1996 5 0 Johor Darul Ta'zim II 2019 AIRMARINE Cup
FW Hafiz Ramdan (1993-06-28) 28 June 1993 0 0 PKNP 2019 AIRMARINE Cup PRE

Results and fixtures

All time results

  Win   Draw   Lose


  • 1 Non-FIFA 'A' international match


  • 1 : Non FIFA 'A' international match

Team officials

Competition record

     Champion       Runners-up       Third place        Fourth place  

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup Finals record Qualifications record
Host/Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA Round GP W D L GS GA
1930 See Malaya national football team 1 See Malaya national football team 1
1966 Did not enter Did not enter
1974 Did not qualify Round 1 4 1 1 2 2 4
1978 Round 1 4 1 2 1 7 6
1982 Round 1 3 0 1 2 3 8
1986 Round 1 4 3 0 1 8 2
1990 Round 1 6 3 1 2 8 8
1994 Round 1 6 2 2 2 16 7
1998 Round 1 6 3 2 1 5 3
2002 Round 1 6 2 1 3 8 11
2006 Round 2 6 0 0 6 2 18
2010 Round 1 2 0 1 1 1 4
2014 Round 2 4 1 1 2 8 10
2018 Round 2 8 1 1 6 3 30
2022 To be determined To be determined
Total N/A 0/21 0 0 0 0 0 0 N/A 59 17 13 29 71 111

Olympic Games

Olympics Finals record Qualifications record
Host/Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA Round GP W D L GS GA
1948 See Malaya national football team 1 See Malaya national football team 1
1972 Round 1 10th of 16 3 1 0 2 3 9 Group Stage Q 4 4 0 0 12 0
1976 Did not qualify Group Stage 4 2 0 2 17 5
1980 Withdrew B Group Stage Q 5 4 1 0 21 3
1984 Did not qualify Final Stage 12 6 3 3 16 10
1988 Group Stage 2 0 1 1 2 3
1992 See Malaysia national under-23 football team 2 See Malaysia national under-23 football team 2
Total Appearance: 1 Best: 10th 3 1 0 2 3 9 - 27 16 5 6 68 21

AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup Finals record Qualifications record
Host/Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA Round GP W D L GS GA
1956 See Malaya national football team 1 See Malaya national football team 1
1964 Did not qualify Group Stage 3 1 0 2 9 10
1968 Group Stage 4 1 1 2 4 5
1972 Group Stage 2 2 0 0 4 2
1976 Group Stage 5th of 6 2 0 1 1 1 3 Group Stage Q 4 3 1 0 6 1
1980 Group Stage 6th of 10 4 1 2 1 5 5 Group Stage Q 4 1 2 1 5 3
1984 Did not qualify Group Stage 4 2 1 1 10 3
1988 Group Stage 4 1 1 2 4 6
1992 Group Stage 3 0 2 1 2 6
1996 Group Stage 2 1 1 0 5 2
2000 Group Stage 6 2 1 3 12 13
2004 Group Stage 6 1 2 3 9 12

Group Stage 16th of 16 3 0 0 3 1 12 Qualified as co-host
2011 Did not qualify Group Stage 4 0 0 4 2 12
2015 Group Stage 6 2 1 3 5 7
2019 Third Round 5 0 1 4 4 13
2023 To be determined In progress
Total Appearances: 3 Best: 5th 9 1 3 5 7 20 - 54 17 14 23 79 87

AFF Football Championship

Asian Games

Southeast Asian Games

  • * : Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
  • 1 : The competition represent by Malaya national football team.
  • 2 : The competition represent by Malaysia national under-23 football team.
  • 3 : Non FIFA 'A' international competition.
  • 4 : The competition represent by Malaysia national under-22 football team.
  • 5 : Previously known as Southeast Asian Peninsular Games (SEAP Games).
  • B : Qualified to the final round, but boycott the tournament.
  • C : These matches are not regarded as part of the national team's record, nor are caps awarded.
  • Q : Qualified to the final round of participating tournament
  • S : Shared the medal


  • Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil

Statistics and records

FIFA world rankings

Last update was on 25 October 2018. Source:[89]

     Worst Ranking       Best Ranking       Worst Mover       Best Mover  

Malaysia's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Games
Won Lost Drawn Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
-2019(to be determined)-------
    17820188431 167 +12178 –4
17420178062 155 +4174 –12
161201614455 156 +9174 –8
170201511263 153 +4171 –11
154201415573 141 +9156 –8
15420137151 154 +4164 –5
158201216556 148 +5163 –6
148201110343 138 +7155 –6
144201010442 139 +3159 –5
16020098143 150 +5163 –8
156200811533 151 +9170 –6
159200715388 149 +7166 –7
15220066033 124 +1153 –19
12320054130 111 +6123 –7
120200414581 114 +4122 –4
11620037133 99 +21119 –11
12820029342 111 +1128 –6
111200111362 105 +3111 –3
1072000241374 104 +8117 –3
11719998440 113 +2118 –3
11319983021 88 +3113 –11
87199714653 84 +1397 –3
    9619968413 91 +21112 –10
    10619955131 94 +14117 –23
8919945138 84 +895 –6
    79199314653 75 +1679 –2

Head to head records (FIFA 'A' International Matches)

Last update was against   Indonesia on 19 November 2019.

Malaysia national football team head to head records
Opponents Played Won Drawn Lost GF GA GD Confederation Last Matches
 Afghanistan321092+7AFC23 March 2019; Friendly
 Australia7106119−18AFC7 October 2011; Friendly
 Bahrain92341420−6AFC15 November 2013; 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
 Bangladesh9621103+7AFC29 August 2015; Friendly
 Bhutan110070+7AFC1 April 2018; Friendly
 Bosnia and Herzegovina301225−3UEFA27 June 2011; Merdeka Tournament SF
 Brazil100104−4CONMEBOL25 May 2002; Friendly
 Brunei101000443+41AFC6 Aug 1999; 1999 Sea Games
 Cambodia2720348126+54AFC8 November 2018; 2018 AFF Championship
 Canada100105−5CONCACAF25 August 1986; Merlion Cup
 China PR11029332−31AFC10 September 2013; Friendly
 Chinese Taipei106232212+10AFC7 September 2018; Friendly
 England100124−2UEFA12 June 1991; Friendly
 Fiji521258−3OFC5 July 2018; Friendly
 Finland110021+1UEFA21 February 1997; 1997 Dunhill Cup – Friendly
 Germany100103−3UEFA29 August 1972; Summer Olympic
 Hong Kong2210663324+9AFC6 June 2015; Friendly
 India2210664527+16AFC16 November 2011; Friendly
 Indonesia75261831107118–11AFC19 November 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Iran5005011−11AFC18 July 2007; AFC Asian Cup
 Iraq8035314−11AFC20 October 2003; 2004 AFC Asian Cup qualification
 Israel2002311−8UEFA, AFC3 September 1974; Asian Games
 Jamaica100102−2CONCACAF28 June 2007; Friendly
 Japan228773126+5AFC7 February 2004; Friendly
 Jordan402202−2AFC30 August 2019; Friendly
 Kenya1010000CAF12 August 2009; Friendly
 Kyrgyzstan100101−1AFC16 October 2018; Friendly
 Kuwait12228829−21AFC8 November 2013; Friendly
 Laos12921396+33AFC12 November 2018; 2018 AFF Championship
 Lesotho220090+9CAF11 September 2009; Friendly
 Liberia110031+2CAF27 August 1984; Merdeka Tournament
 Libya3021220CAF30 September 1980; Islamic Games
 Liechtenstein100101−1UEFA5 October 1981; Friendly
 Lebanon200224–2AFC27 March 2018; 2019 AFC Asian Cup Q – 3rd Round
 Macau3210140+14AFC28 March 2016; Friendly
 Maldives4400111+10AFC3 November 2018; Friendly
 Mongolia1010220AFC22 March 2018; Friendly
 Morocco310238−5CAF7 February 1981; Friendly
 Myanmar50238198867+21AFC 24 November 2018; 2018 AFF Championship
   Nepal7610230+23AFC2 June 2019; Friendly
 New Zealand13229931−22OFC23 February 2006; Friendly
 North Korea8134514−9AFC13 November 2017; Asian Cup qualification
 Oman510426−4AFC 23 March 2015; Friendly
 Pakistan4301154+11AFC10 Oct 2008; Friendly
 Palestine4103416−12AFC12 November 2015; 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Papua New Guinea3201154+11OFC14 November 2016; Friendly
 Philippines151131593+56AFC22 March 2017; Friendly
 Qatar6033311−8AFC19 November 2013; 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualification
 Saudi Arabia10127821−13AFC24 March 2016; 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Senegal110010+1CAF13 August 1982; Merdeka Tournament
 Singapore491916147556+19AFC7 October 2016; Friendly
 South Korea54119344798−51AFC3 October 2002; Asian Games
 South Vietnam137332715+12AFC23 March 1975; Asian Cup qualification
 Sri Lanka9801337+10AFC5 October 2019; Friendly
 Sweden100113−2UEFA14 November 1979; Friendly
 Syria4202108+2AFC22 August 2017; Friendly
 Tajikistan110124−2AFC9 November 2019; Friendly
 Thailand111413535160150+10AFC14 November 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Timor-Leste6510223+19AFC11 June 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Turkey100103−3UEFA5 October 1980 Islamic Games
 United Arab Emirates9207624−18AFC10 September 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
 United States110030+3CONCACAF29 August 1972; Summer Olympics
 Uruguay100106−6CONMEBOL1 June 1985; Friendly
 Uzbekistan6006221−19AFC18 November 2009; Asian Cup qualification
 Vietnam2053121926−7AFC10 October 2019; 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
 Yemen220143+1AFC5 March 2014; Asian Cup qualification
Total 710 274 154 284 1142 1025 1117
  • Table above is a list of all FIFA 'A' international matches Malaysia have played against FIFA recognised teams.[4][90][91][92]

Honours and achievements


Asian Games
Honours Years Head Coach Team
Bronze medal 1974 Jalil Che Din Squad



See also


  1. Result count since after the Federation of Malaysia formation on 16 September 1963.[5]
  2. The home match of Malaysia against Timor-Leste, originally to be played on 6 June 2019, was later postponed due to Eid al-Fitr celebrations following a request from the Football Association of Malaysia.[81]
  3. Timor-Leste played their home match against Malaysia in the latter country due to a lack of a suitable venue in their country.[82]
  4. Earned Malaysian nationality after Malaysia formed on 16 September 1963. Became Singaporean after Singapore separation from Malaysia in 1965.


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  2. "AFF Suzuki Cup Hero: Zainal Abidin Hassan – Harimau Legend". Fox Sports Malaysia. 1 November 2018. Retrieved 26 February 2019. But more importantly, aside from his fruitful club career, what further cements his place as a distinguished footballer in the Southeast Asian region are his services to his national team, the Harimau Malaya. A total of 78 goals in 138 appearances (0.57 goal/game) is a goalscoring rate of high regard for one’s country. Although he might have been in a generation when Southeast Asian football was singlehandedly dominated by Thailand, he was part of the Malaysian team that was able to get a gold medal in the 1989 Southeast Asian Games.
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  8. Francesca DiPiazza (1 January 2006). Malaysia in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. pp. 14–. ISBN 978-0-8225-2674-2.
  9. Mohamad Fahd Rahmat (25 December 2014). "Harimau Malaya tinggal kenangan" [Malayan Tiger in memories] (in Malay). Harian Metro. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015.
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