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Football: Dollah Salleh named Malaysia national coach

Malaysia on Wednesday picked former international striker Dollah Salleh as the new national coach with a two-and-a-half year contract in fresh bid to lift the country's football team out of the doldrums.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Wednesday picked former international striker Dollah Salleh as the new national coach with a two-and-a-half year contract in fresh bid to lift the country's football team out of the doldrums.

Dubbed as the man with the "magic touch," Dollah, 50, who was one of the Southeast Asian country's top footballers in the 1980s and 1990s, led local teams to winning titles.

Dollah had taken Selangor FA to win three trophies in 2005 and in 2014 led the police football team to win the premier league title.

"I am happy to be appointed as the national coach by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)," he told AFP.

However, he described it as a "tough job" as some players have a tendency of not wanting to wear the national jersey but to play instead for clubs for a higher fee.

Dollah, whose contract begins in July, said he hoped to improve Malaysia's FIFA ranking and win the Suzuki Cup, Southeast Asia's premier tournament, later this year.

Malaysia rank 154th in the world and 27th in Asia, according to FIFA. At their best, the team ranked 75th in 1993.

Malaysia have been looking since December for a coach to replace K. Rajagopal, a Malaysian, after his contract ended.

Early this year, World Cup-winning former French international Marcel Desailly had expressed interest in coaching Malaysia.

Allegations of match-fixing have long tainted Malaysian football.

In recent months FAM has fined 23 players from Kuala Lumpur's domestic-league side and three officials for match-fixing. The officials and five of the players were also banned for life.

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