Football wonderkid Luqman Hakim does country proud

The 18-year-old Kota Baru born striker made history when he became the 1st Malaysian to feature in a top tier European match

MALAYSIA’S young football sensation Luqman Hakim Shamsudin is continuing his hard work in Belgium in the hope of making Malaysians proud of his achievements.

The 18-year-old Kota Baru born striker, who signed a five-year contract with Belgian Pro League side, KV Kortrijk, said he is pushing himself in training to achieve his dreams.

“I am in good (health), training hard and (I) push myself because I want to achieve my dreams and make the country proud of me. I always want to make Malaysians happy for me.

“I hope you all will support me no matter what because I am here to give the best for the people of Malaysia and Belgium fans…I always give you the best,” he said in a short video posted via the club’s official social media platforms.

The club, owned by Malaysian business tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, has indicated that it will feature Luqman’s stint in the Belgian top tier, in a documentary, #TheJourneyOfLuqie, this coming Sunday.

Luqman made history when he became the first Malaysian to feature in a top tier European match, coming on as a substitute for Petar Golubovic against RSC Anderlecht last Saturday.

A week before that, Luqman scored his first goal for a 1-0 win over KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk in the Belgian Under-21 Pro League 2.

In other developments, Malaysian Football League (MFL) CEO Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan announced that the Sabah football team will not be able to participate in the 2020 Malaysia Cup, which kicks off on Nov 6, due to the Covid-19 pandemic that is still raging in the state.

Ab Ghani said the Sabah squad could not obtain clearance from the National Security Council (MKN) to leave the state due to the extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) until Nov 9.

“Therefore, the team drawn against Sabah in the first round of the Malaysia Cup 2020 will be given a 3-0 victory and qualify directly to the quarterfinals. Sabah remains a Super League team for the 2021 season and no punishment will be imposed on Sabah for this issue,” he said in a statement.

Responding to MFL’s announcement, Sabah head coach Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto said he accepted the decision with an open heart and believed that the call by MKN was for the safety and wellbeing of all parties concerned.

“Of course the decision is still a shock to us all, but the players and I understand his, and we must comply with the directives

of the MKN and the government, so as concerned citizens, we accept this decision,” he said, adding that this will not upset their plans to prepare well for next season.

Commenting on the teams under the CMCO areas such as Selangor, Petaling Jaya City FC, UiTM FC and Kuala Lumpur, Ab Ghani said MFL will help the clubs play at green zone venues.

Unlike previous year, the Malaysia Cup this year will be played in a knockout format due to time constraint following a long delay due to Covid-19, with the draw be held on Nov 1 and the first round matches on Nov 6, 7 and 8. The quarterfinals will be held on Nov 12 and 13, the semifinals on Nov 17 and the final on Nov 22. — Bernama