The Young Tigers, Malaysia's U-21 squad, has been denied a place in the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) 2010 S-League. But the door is not closed permanently on the squad's participation.
The FAS has given an assurance that future involvement for the Malaysian outfit was still possible.
"In fact, we did consider the Young Tigers' participation in the S-League but given a couple of technicalities which have yet to be sorted out and in view of time constraint, we could not accomodate the FA of Malaysia's request.
"Our 2010 league season kicks off on Feb 1 and we need to give other teams enough time to prepare for the competition," said FAS secretary-general Winston Lee after the announcement of the teams taking part in the 2010 S-League at the FAS headquarters in Singapore, Monday.
The three foreign teams in the 12-team S-League are the two newcomers, Beijing Guo'an from China and the France-based Etoile, with the Japanese team Albirex Niigata retaining their spot.
The Malaysian Young Tigers, under coach Azrrai Khor Abdullah, are hoping for a favourable response from the S-League, and even FA of Malaysia secretary-general Datuk Azuddin Ahmad was confident that the S-League would accomodate the Malaysian outfit.
"But we are not giving up hope. We still want the team to be in the S-League, maybe next year. I spoke to Winston (Lee) this morning and it's unfortunate that certain technical matters could not be resolved in time for participation in the 2010 season," said Azuddin.
And the FA of Singapore has also acknowledged that the participation of a Malaysian team in their S-League would be beneficial for both countries.
"Malaysian football is on the rise again after their national team won the gold medal in the recent Laos Sea Games...and we would love to have a Malaysian team in the S-League in the near future. - Agencies.