Paris 2024: Tony Gustavsson has quashed rumours of a potential move. To the role of men’s national team coach in Sweden. Affirming his commitment to lead Australia’s women’s team until the Paris 2024 Olympics. Speculation arose following reports that Gustavsson was among the candidates considered. For the position left vacant by Janne Andersen after Sweden’s Euro 2024 qualification miss.
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Despite his heightened profile from guiding Australia to the Women’s World Cup semi-finals. The 50-year-old emphasized his dedication to the Matildas. Amidst discussions about Gustavsson’s potential move. He clarified his stance, expressing passion for the Matildas. And underscoring his unwavering focus on securing qualification and participating in the Olympic Paris 2024.
His dedication to the team’s journey toward this goal remains his primary commitment. As outlined in a statement released by Football Australia. Australia successfully navigated the second phase of Asia’s Olympic Games preliminaries. Registering wins against the Philippines, Iran, and Taiwan in early November. Looking ahead, they are set to face Uzbekistan in a two-legged clash in February. With the victorious side earning a coveted spot in the 12-team football tournament in Paris 2024.
Football Australia reinforced Gustavsson’s commitment. He stated that he is currently under contract as the head coach of the Matildas. With his tenure extending until Paris 2024. This official statement clarifies any uncertainties surrounding Gustavsson’s coaching position. And affirms his integral role in guiding the Australian women’s team through the upcoming Olympic 2024 journey.
Football Australia Acknowledges Tony Gustavsson’s Impact in Olympic Paris 2024 Amidst Contract Speculations
Football Australia expresses its deep appreciation for Tony Gustavsson’s valuable contributions to the team’s journey and achievements thus far. His dedication and expertise have played a pivotal role in the team’s success. Regarding speculations surrounding Tony Gustavsson’s potential involvement with the Swedish men’s national team. Football Australia maintains a policy of not commenting on speculative reports. Or the potential future engagements of its staff beyond their existing contracts.
Football Australia acknowledges that discussions about a potential extension of Tony Gustavsson’s contract. Will be conducted at an appropriate time in the future, following the organization’s standard procedures. This reflects the commitment to handling such matters with due diligence and professionalism.
The governing body emphasizes that its immediate priority lies in strategic preparation. For the qualification and participation in the Paris 2024. Football Australia is dedicated to ensuring the team is optimally positioned for success in this prestigious international event.
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As the organization focuses on the upcoming challenges and opportunities in Olympic Paris. Any decisions regarding coaching staff, including Tony Gustavsson’s future with the team. Will be approached in a manner that aligns with the overarching goals and standards set by Football Australia. The statement underscores the commitment to transparent and strategic decision-making. To best serve the interests of Australian football on the global stage in Paris 2024.
Harimau Malaya’s fine progress makes it a passable year for Malaysian football for Paris 2024
The Malaysian football scene has witnessed a remarkable upturn this year, marked. By the outstanding performance of the Harimau Malaya squad in international competitions. The team’s commendable results have injected a renewed sense of enthusiasm among local fans, breathing new life into the sport. Following a disheartening defeat in the semi-final stage of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Cup. In Thailand earlier this year, the Harimau Malaya squad displayed resilience by bouncing back swiftly.
They embarked on an impressive streak, securing four consecutive victories and two draws against teams with higher rankings. The resurgence commenced with a 1-0 triumph over Turkmenistan and a convincing 2-0 win against Hong Kong in Johor Baru in March. Under the guidance of South Korean coach Kim Pan-gon, the positive momentum persisted as the Harimau Malaya squad triumphed over the Solomon Islands with a resounding 4-1 victory and dominated Papua New Guinea with an astonishing 10-0 win in Kuala Terengganu in June.
Noteworthy achievements emerged against top-tier opponents in June, where the team showcased their mettle by securing a 2-2 draw against the formidable Syria and achieving a praiseworthy 1-1 draw against China in Chengdu in September. These performances underscored the squad’s ability to compete at a high level and hinted at the potential for further success on the international stage.
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The collective efforts of the Harimau Malaya squad, coupled with the strategic guidance of Coach Kim Pan-gon, have not only redeemed the team after setbacks but have also instilled a sense of optimism and pride among Malaysian football enthusiasts. The positive trajectory sets the stage for continued improvement and success in future competitions, fostering a promising era for Malaysian football.
Malaysia’s Strong Performance in World Cup Qualifiers and Youth Tournaments Before Olympic 2024
The impressive performance and unbeaten run of the Harimau Malaya continued during the Merdeka Tournament in October, where they defeated India 4-2 in the opening match. However, Pan-gon’s team faced a setback, losing 2-0 to Tajikistan in the final. Despite the pain of that defeat, the team quickly shifted focus when the 2026-2027 Asian Cup Qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup began in November.
In the opening matches of the qualifiers, Malaysia showcased their prowess by securing victories against Kyrgyzstan (4-3) in Kuala Lumpur and Taiwan (1-0) on their home turf. These triumphs have granted Malaysia a commendable six-point lead in Group D. Nevertheless, a formidable challenge awaits them in March when they face group favourites Oman in Muscat and the return match in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia to a significant climb in the FIFA world rankings
The positive results have propelled Malaysia to a significant climb in the FIFA world rankings, reaching the 134th spot in September the best position for the Harimau Malaya in 17 years since May 2006 when they were ranked 127th. Besides the World Cup Qualifiers, the team is gearing up for the 2023 Asian Cup Finals in Qatar, where they have been drawn in Group E alongside South Korea, Jordan, and Bahrain.
Simultaneously, the National Under-23 squad, known as Harimau Muda, succeeded by winning the Merlion Cup in Singapore and reaching the SEA Games final in Cambodia. Despite setbacks in the Under-23 AFF Cup, coach E. Elavarasan guided the squad to qualify for the Under-23 Asian Cup in 2024. However, Elavarasan’s surprising decision to vacate his position led to the appointment of Spaniard Juan Torres Garrido, who will lead the squad’s pursuit of a spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics during the Under-23 Asian Cup in Qatar next year.
On the domestic front, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), under coach Esteban Solari, asserted their dominance in the Malaysian Football League by securing all four titles at stake in the 2023 season—Charity Shield, FA Cup, Super League title, and Malaysia Cup. However, despite the success on the field, issues of unpaid salaries continued to plague M-League teams, with Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, and Kelantan under scrutiny for salary arrears, highlighting challenges in the league’s management even three years after privatization.
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