Malaysia and Thailand clash in Asian Cup trial

March 5, 2023 @ 22:10 UTC

Host nation Malaysia and Thailand’s Women’s Opens squads clashed this week at the home of the 2019 Federation of International Touch (FIT) Touch World Cup at Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya.

The dual clashes allowed both counties to continue to finetune preparations for the inaugural Asian Touch Cup 2023 in September.

The Trans Peninsular Malaysia Thailand 2023 is a Touch Football Friendly Game held between the two national touch teams located along the Peninsular of Malaysia and the Straits of Malacca.

According to HJ. Ahmad Sufiani Johari, President, Malaysia Touch Association, the event will be held annually starting this year with Malaysia and Thailand to focus on the development of the sport and encourage friendship between National Touch Organizations (NTOs).

“This new event will enhance standards in the region before the Inaugural Asian Touch Cup 2023 Malaysia, 10th Touch World Cup 2024 England and building future platform for Touch Football to be introduced into South East Asia Games – SEA Games.”

FIT crucial to matchup

The match schedule was confirmed by Malaysia and Thailand during a meeting hosted by Bianca Arco, FIT’s Member Relation Asia representative on 3 August 2022. “We agreed to start with the Women’s Open friendly match and will continue with other bilateral development programs for Referees and Coaches,” Mr Sufiani said.

The friendly matches for Trans Peninsular were allocated to the Putrajaya Presint 5 Field C and supported by Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) and Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya (TEP) and includes two matches both won by Malaysia in closely fought tussles.  The first match finished 4-2 to the hosts, with the second also going Malaysia’s way 5-3.

Apart from the chance for much needed international competition, Mr Sufiani said that the prime objective of the Trans Peninsular was to build connections with neighboring nations in Southeast Asia, to value long-standing ties between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines in the development of Touch Football in South East Asia.

Looking ahead to the Asian Touch Cup 2023

Mr Sufiani said Malaysia is well set to hold of the Asian Touch Cup 2023 and “is preparing to be a good host with an advantage experience in hosting the 2018 Youth Touch World Cup and 2019 Touch World Cup”.

He continues, “The lessons learned from this event will ensure that the inaugural Asian Touch Cup will be successful.”

The Asian Touch Cup will be held from 22-24 September 2023 at Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya, Presint 5. Divisions will include Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed Open, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, and Senior Mixed.

“The Malaysia Thailand Friendly match is part of our preparation as a host to prepare the venue, including our medical and safety readiness, communications, teamwork, and our own national team preparation.”

Cementing long-term friendships

On behalf of Malaysia Touch Association, Mr Sufiani thanked several individuals for making the friendlies a success. “I would like to thank Mr. Joe Emsley, FIT Representative Touch Thailand, and his coaches: Coach Dan Ciccocioppa, Coach Daf Roberts, Coach Toby Williamson, and the Touch Thailand Ladies squad for your willingness to travel to Malaysia. Next year we will return the visit to Bangkok for Trans Peninsular II.

“Thank you also to the Malaysia Women's Open Squad 2023, and Coach Amirul Aqil Kamsol and her support team.

Malaysian government support

For the last six years, the Malaysian Government has been a major champion of the growth of Touch and Mr Sufiani signalled out several agencies for their support. “Malaysia Touch Association would like to convey our gratitude to the Minister Office Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, National Sports Institute (ISN).

“I’d also like to thank Mr. Peter Walters MR TOUCH SportCoach from New Zealand, Mr. Noel Edmonds Snapper SportCoach New Zealand, Malaysia Touch Association Board Member, State Touch Associations, Putrajaya Corporation (PPj), Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya (TEP), Pulse Group Technical Team, Rahmat ZK Resources - Main Gallery, Riang Ria Travel & Tours, Putrajaya Touch Association, Scorpion Touch Putrajaya Club and all involved.”

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