Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) today announced that the Pestabola Merdeka 2023 competition format will be maintained even though it will now feature only three teams – Malaysia, India and Tajikistan despite the Palestine national team’s withdrawal from the tournament due to the current situation in the country.
Based on the original schedule, Palestine is scheduled to meet Tajikistan (4.30pm) while Malaysia faces India (9.00pm) on Friday, 13 October 2023, where the two losing teams will take third place (4.30pm) while the two winning teams will go to the Final ( 9.00 pm) on Tuesday, 17 October 2023, with all four matches at the National Stadium, Bukit Jalil.
But based on the latest situation, Malaysia will still meet India on Friday, 13 October 2023 (9.00 pm) at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur while Tajikistan now has a ‘bye’ and will continue to qualify for the Final on Tuesday, 17 October 2023 (9.00 pm) at the National Stadium for meet the winner of the Malaysia and India match.
This means, only one match will take place on Friday, 13 October 2023 and one match on Tuesday, 17 October 2023 i.e. there will be no third place match on that day.
The format change is the best solution that has been reached at a special meeting between FAM as the organizer of the 2023 Independence Cup with the management of the Indian and Tajikistan teams, this morning after taking into account the time constraints following the withdrawal of the Palestinian team.
Meanwhile, to be fair to the approximately 25,000 supporters who have already bought tickets to watch both Match Days on 13 and 17 October, FAM decided to maintain the ticket price (for all categories) even though it now involves only one match on each Match Day.
Tickets can still be purchased at https://bit.ly/tiketpestabola and ticket sales are only online, meaning there will be no physical ticket sales at the stadium on the day of the match.
Credit Photo : Pestabola Merdeka