Southeast Asia

Belgium-based Dion Cools turned down chance to play in 2017 SEA Games

Club Brugge defender Dion Cools has turned down the chance to represent Malaysia in the 2017 SEA Games, Malaysia U-22 team head coach Frank Bernhardt confirmed.

The 20-year-old footballer was born in Malaysia to a Malaysian father and a Belgian mother. He has played for the Belgium U-19 and U-22, but as long as he has not played for any country at a senior level, he still can choose between Belgium and Malaysia.

However, coach Bernhardt confirmed that the half-Malaysian defender won’t be playing in the 2017 SEA Games, which will be held in Malaysia in August.

“We were told about a player in Belgium. I tried to contact him but it’s hard to get the player to play for the U-23 and U-22 teams because he’s only thinking about the national team,” Bernhardt told reporters.

Cools joined Club Brugge in 2015 and has made 15 league appearances for the club.