BANGI: The government is considering rewarding the national football team and holding a celebration over their qualification to the 2023 Asian Cup finals, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said the matter would be jointly discussed with the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) soon.

“Insya-Allah, I will be discussing this with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and also with FAM.

“It (discussions) will be about celebrating (Malaysia’s qualification) or any form of contribution that we can give… we will discuss this,” he told reporters after attending the 2022 Malaysian Youth Parliament (PBM) sitting here on Wednesday (June 15).

Ismail Sabri, meanwhile, also hoped that the Harimau Malaya squad would go on to perform their best and make their mark at the 2023 Asian Cup.

“We have only passed the first test, the bigger challenge will be at the Asian Cup and to get some good results. I hope this fighting spirit shown will continue to restore Malaysia’s standing in international football, especially in Asia,” he said.

Malaysia ended more than four decades of wait when they qualified on merit for the Asian Cup after thrashing Bangladesh 4-1 in the last match of Group E qualifiers at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here on Tuesday (June 14) night.

Malaysia ended the qualifying stage with six points to finish behind group champions Bahrain thus booking their ticket to the prestigious competition as one of the best five runners-up.

The last time Malaysia made an appearance in the Asian Cup finals was in the 2007 edition when they co-hosted the tournament, but it had been more than 40 years of failing to advance (to the finals) on merit since the 1980 edition in Kuwait.- Bernama