Tan Cheng Hoe resigns as Malaysia coach after AFF Suzuki Cup failure

Tan Cheng Hoe has resigned as coach of Malaysia after four years at the helm, following their failure to make it out of the group stage of AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 despite being the runners-up from three years ago. SPORTFIVE

The Football Association of Malaysia have announced that Tan Cheng Hoe has resigned as the head coach of the national team, following their failure to make it out of the group stage at the recently-concluded AFF Suzuki Cup 2020.

Tan, who had been in charge of Harimau Malaya since 2018, led them to a runners-up finish at the same tournament that year, which led to expectations that they could once again go far in the most recent edition.

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After victories over Cambodia and Laos, the Malaysians were beaten 3-0 by Vietnam but still had their destiny in their own hands in their final Group B clash against fierce rivals Indonesia, only to fall to a humiliating 4-1 loss.

In a statement released by the FAM, it was revealed that Tan had "expressed his intention (to step down) following the failure of his team to reach the semifinals of AFF Suzuki Cup 2020", with the organisation agreeing to a mutual termination of his contract.

Tan was not helped by a combination of selection woes and player unrest at the tournament, especially having opted to name only a 24-man squad for the Suzuki Cup when up to 30 players were allowed.

Malaysia were soon hit by a spate of COVID-19 cases upon arrival in host nation Singapore, and their opening win over Cambodia was also blighted by a blatant exhibition of dissatisfaction by Brazilian-born striker Guilherme, who glared at his own fans after being substituted before hurling a water bottle at the Harimau Malaya dugout.

Tan's departure means that Malaysia will now be looking to appoint a fifth man at the helm in the past eight years, with Dollah Salleh, Ong Kim Swee and Nelo Vingada all having been in the seat since 2014.