KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Malaysian players have been encouraged to reject offers from foreign clubs and stay at home and improve the local league by the country's Football Association president.
Sultan Ahmad Shah's comments came after striker Mohd Safee Sali, who was top scorer as Malaysia won the AFF Cup in December, joined Indonesian club Pelita Jaya from Selangor.
"Whenever there is a player of calibre, many teams will approach, but my advise to them is better to stay in Malaysia," Shah told the Bernama news agency.
Interest in Malaysian players has increased after their success in the AFF Cup and Shah rewarded the players and coaching staff on Sunday with a 50,000 Malaysian ringgit ($16,377) bonus for their efforts.
"The achievement is a very proud moment not only for me but the entire nation. This success must have continuity. This is only the beginning of a new era for Malaysian football," Shah said.