JDT’s Amirul next in Malaysia exit

Signs of a Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) exodus from the Malaysian squad is gaining momentum after Amirul Hadi Zainal becomes the club’s fourth player in three days to quit international football. 

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) players are taking turns in announcing their retirement from international football and after Amirul Hadi Zainal – the latest of the quartet so far – many are wondering which of the club’s player would be next.

Amirul, who only recently made a comeback to the Malaysian squad, announced his retirement from international football on his personal Facebook account, following Safiq Rahim, Aidil Zafuan Radzak and S. Kunanlan – the three most experienced players in the squad.

“Thank you to the supporters and everyone involved in giving me the support and opportunity throughout my involvement with the national team, especially coach Ong Kim Swee,” read his statement.

“(But) This is where my contributions to the national team ends. This decision allows me to provide opportunities to the younger players to continue the national team's mission.”

Amirul was recalled to the Tigers squad by Ong after a five-year absence and was among the starters in Malaysia’s 6-0 aggregate win over Timor Leste in the Asian Cup playoff and the Oceania Tour. He was deployed in an unfamiliar striking role beside Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and looked lively.

His retirement comes as another blow to Ong, who is preparing the squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers

Interestingly, it was just over a month ago Amirul told FourFourTwo that he had never stopped trying to impress the national team coaches and expressed the desire to remain in the squad for time to come.

Main Photo: JDT