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2018 Calendar: A comprehensive guide for Malaysian football fans

 Qualification to continental tournaments, the first full season of the Tunku Ismail Sultan Ismail era and the season ending AFF Suzuki Cup will make it a busy year for Malaysian football. Here's your go-to page on what’s happening each month...

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JANUARY

First up for Malaysia is a debut in the AFC Under-23 Championship in China from January 9-27.

Ong Kim Swee’s charges, who were among the group winners in the qualifiers, face a tough task in the competition after being drawn with Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The inaugural Boost Sportsfix Super Cup, an invitational tournament involving Kelantan, Ratchaburi of Thailand and Indonesian side Persija Jakarta takes place at Bukit Jalil Stadium from January 13-20. The clubs are the first professional teams to play at the stadium since it was renovated for the 2017 SEA Games.

Malaysia Super League (MSL) champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), meanwhile, have just one thing on their mind in January – the AFC Champions League qualifiers.

The Southern Tigers visit Thai side Muangthong United on January 23 in the Preliminary Round 2 and should they win, a daunting trip to Japan’s Kashiwa Reysol await in the Playoff on January 30.

FEBRUARY

Malaysia are looking to progress beyond the group stage for the first time at the AFC Futsal Championship in Chinese Taipei from February 1-11.

Chiew Chun Yong’s men have received a favourable draw with the hosts, Southeast Asian competitors Vietnam and Bahrain.

All eyes in February will be glued to the start of the 2018 MSL season when JDT hosts Kedah in the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup curtain raiser on February 3. The match also doubles up as the first league match of the season.

JDT could commence their AFC Cup campaign at home to Persija Jakarta on February 14. Selangor will take their place if Ulisses Morais’s men overcome the odds to qualify for the AFC Champions League, which commences on February 13.

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