KUALA LUMPUR: Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has blamed the national football team’s dismal results on “structural issues” of the past.
Khairy said it is an issue which will take time to fix, and he urged all the parties to be patient as there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
"You have to look at the national team’s performance in a wider context. Their performance today reflects the (development) structure that has been in place for many, many years," said Khairy.
"It is a structural problem which will take time to fix and I hope everyone will be patient.
"The senior team is haunted by these (structural) issues but our national age group teams have done well recently.
“The FA of Malaysia have also been more organised in developing the sport and the latest idea is introducing a fourth division to allow more to compete in a well structured competition.
"Hopefully we will be able to see improvements within the next five years when players from Ong Kim Swee (under-22), Bojan Hodak (under-19) and Lim Teong Kim's (under-16) replace the current generation."
Khairy said sacking national coach Nelo Vingada would not solve the problem.
"Again, we have to look at this from a wider context, the quick approach would be to change the coach but there would not be any drastic improvements, regardless of who comes and coaches the team.
"FAM have to think about that, whoever coaches the team will face the same problems."
Malaysia were hammered 4-1 by North Korea in both their 2019 AFC Cup qualifying matches held in Buriram recently.
Many have called for the sacking of Vingada, who failed to guide the team to a win since becoming national coach six months ago.