Southeast Asia Malaysia

Mario Gomez appointed as new head coach of Malaysia national team

Former Johor Darul Ta’zim coach, Mario Gomez, 60, has been appointed as the new head coach of the Malaysia football team, replacing Ong Kim Swee.

Ong has been moved to the national Under-23 squad, taking over from Frank Bernhardt.

The development came under the new leadership of the Football Association of Malaysia headed by the Johor Crown Prince, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

“I have Mario to replace Ong Kim Swee, who will be heading to the U23 squad. Mario will have his own assistant, I will give him the freedom to choose,” said Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim after being confirmed as FAM president on Saturday.

“But Mario’s performance will be monitored. If I can see progress, he will stay there. If he is not up to the mark, then we will have to change. Mario should be starting work by next week.”

Argentinian Mario Gomez has been JDT’s most successful coach after winning five trophies with the team over two seasons, including two MSL titles, an FA Cup, Charity Shield and a maiden AFC Cup in 2015. He also oversaw an unbeaten campaign in the 2016 league season.

Malaysia are in Group B of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, along with North Korea, Lebanon, and Hong Kong.

They will face North Korea in their opening game on June 8, after the initial encounter on March 28 was postponed due to security concerns.