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KUALA LUMPUR, June 16:

Malaysia is unable to qualify for the World Cup as there are funding issues at state-level football teams, coupled with poor development plans for the sport.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) said the football development plan also needs a long time to be developed as the ministry is forced “to build from scratch”.

Khairy was responding to a query from Datuk Khairil Anuar Wan Ahmad (BN-Kuala Kangsar) who asked why Malaysia did not qualify for the 2014 World Cup, in which 32 countries are battling for the coveted world champion title.

“I want to know what went wrong as we were once Asian giants in the game,” Khairil Anuar asked.

“I am not the FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) president to make statements, so I cannot answer you on that.

“But we have our football development plan and this needs a long time to be developed,” Khairy said.

“The current system is not good enough for us to even win the Asian Cup.

“Our mistake is on the development part.

“Almost all state football teams and the Malaysian team receive the smallest amount under development funding.”

Khairy said that unless the issue was addressed at the state level, the situation would never change.

“This is how it will be as we have a system where the base is weak.”

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