KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Monday night congratulated the national football squad for winning the 26th Sea Games gold in the final against Indonesia at the Utama Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.
Najib said: “Well done and congratulations! The people and I are really delighted as they (football squad) had played with full spirit,” he said in his Twitter message.
With this victory of the squad coached by Ong Kim Swee, Malaysia managed to defend the gold in football it won at the Laos SEA Games in 2009.
The squad, known as Harimau Muda (Young Tigers) defeated Indonesia 5-4 on penalties after the teams drew 1-1.
Malaysia remained fourth on the medal table in this edition of the SEA Games held since Nov 11 and will end tomorrow. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, meanwhile, said he would discuss with Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek on the special reward to be given to the squad and other teams that had done well at the 26th SEA Games.
“I as chairman of the Cabinet Committee for Sports feel so proud of their performance,” he told reporters, here.
Earlier, Muhyiddin had watched the football final between Malaysia and hosts Indonesia at a Sirim-Industries 2011 function.
He said the football squad’s victory showed the sport’s return to glory as seen many years ago.
“I congratulate FAM (Football Association of Malaysia, coaches, team captain and players, the minister concerned and others involved. The whole nation is proud of the squad’s victory,” he said.
In PALEMBANG, Harimau Muda squad winning gold was also celebrated with joy by Malaysian athletes, officials and supporters.
“This is a historic day for Malaysian sports as besides exceeding the target in medal haul, we have also won the mother of all medals, the gold in football,” said National Sports Council director-general Datuk Zolkples Embong.
“Malaysia’s two consecutive wins in football at the Sea Games is so sweet for us all,” said Zolkples who had been watching the Malaysia-Indonesia match with NSC officials and several Malaysian media representatives at the hotel he is staying.
“We had lost some main players but the ones on the field tonight played well and showed grit to win the final,” he added.
Source : Bernama