Merdeka Tournament

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Merdeka Tournament
Pestabola Merdeka logo badge.jpg
Special golden jubilee logo marks a 50th anniversary of tournament in 2007
Founded1957; 65 years ago (1957)
RegionInternational
Number of teamsVaried
Current championsMalaysia Malaysia U-23 (2nd title)
Most successful team(s) Malaysia (10 titles)

Merdeka Tournament or Pestabola Merdeka is a friendly football tournament held in Malaysia to commemorate the Independence Day. The competition bears the Malay word for independence. As of 2022, it has been held 40 times, and decreasingly in recent decades. Matches in Merdeka tournament considered International "A" matches (Friendly match) by FIFA.

Its final has been mainly held at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. An unusual feature is it has four times seen a draw result, twice with the home nation and teams from South Korea, and twice with the latter and variously Taiwan and Myanmar (then predominantly called Burma).

Teams from all continents apart from North America have been the runners up or champions.

History[edit]

The winner of the second season of Merdeka Cup in 1958, Malaya football team, five years before the merger to form Malaysia. Also in the picture is Tunku Abdul Rahman (centre), the first Prime Minister of Malaya, and at that time president of Football Association of Malaya & Asian Football Confederation.[1][2]

The Pestabola Merdeka is Asia`s oldest football tournament which invited football playing nations to compete since 1957.[3][4][5] While the tournament had been held annually from 1957 to 1988, it has been held only nine times from 1989 to 2013. During the late 1950s to early 1980s, it was a prestigious tournament among Asian nations because the participants sent their full senior players.[6] After the 1980s, interest in the cup waned from both football fans and football teams, because many Asian nations focused more on the qualification phases in FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup.[7]

The first edition of the Pestabola Merdeka was held in August and September 1957 with Hong Kong emerging inaugural champions.[8] However, from then on it was purely dominated by Malaysia, South Korea, Myanmar, Indonesia and a host of other countries, including South American and European clubs.[9]

Malaysia/Malaya exclusively lifted the trophy ten times, emerged runners-up on eight occasions, and in addition shared the winner’s rostrum twice with South Korea (1960 and 1979), while South Korean sides have won it seven times.

Indonesia, Taiwan and Myanmar hold multi-winning accolades. The other champions were Morocco (1980), New Zealand (2000), Uzbekistan (2001), Czechoslovakia Olympic (1987) and Austria’s with their SK Admira Wacker (1991), German Hamburger SV (1988), Argentinian Buenos Aires XI (1983) and Brazilian Santa Catarina XI (1982).

Brazilian states' Sao Paulo XI, Minas Gerais XI, and America FC Rio de Janeiro finished runners-up, as have Japan and India.

Champions[edit]

Below are the list of champions in Pestabola Merdeka competitions since 1957.[10][11]

Year Champions Runners-up Score in final Notes
1957 Hong Kong Hong Kong League XI[note 1]  Indonesia (tournament in group stages)1
1958  Malaya Hong Kong Hong Kong League XI[note 1]
1959  Malaya[12]  India
1960  Malaya[13]
 South Korea[note 2]
0–0 (trophy shared)1
1961  Indonesia  Malaya 2–1 1
1962  Indonesia  Pakistan 2–1 1
1963  Taiwan[note 1]  Japan[note 3] (tournament in group stages)1
1964  Burma  India 1–0 1
1965  South Korea
 Taiwan[note 1]
1–1 (trophy shared)1
1966  South Vietnam  Burma 1–0 1
1967 South Korea Yangzee
 Burma
0–0 (trophy shared)1
1968  Malaysia  Burma 3–0
1969  Indonesia  Malaysia 3–2
1970  South Korea[note 4]  Burma 1–0
1971  Burma  Indonesia 1–0 1
1972  South Korea  Malaysia 2–1
1973  Malaysia[14]  Kuwait[15] 3–1 1
1974  Malaysia  South Korea 1–0 2
1975  South Korea  Malaysia[16] 1–0 1
1976  Malaysia  Japan[note 5] 2–0 1
1977  South Korea  Iraq 1–0
1978  South Korea  Iraq 2–0 1
1979 South Korea South Korea B
 Malaysia
0–0 (trophy shared)
1980  Morocco  Malaysia 2–1 1
1981  Iraq Brazil Sao Paulo XI 1–0
1982 Brazil Santa Catarina XI  Ghana 3–0
1983 Argentina Buenos Aires XI  Algeria XI 2–1
1984 South Korea South Korea B Brazil Minas Gerais XI 2–0
1985 South Korea South Korea B Brazil America FC Rio de Janeiro 7–4 (a.e.t)
1986  Malaysia  Czechoslovakia XI 3–0
1987  Czechoslovakia Olympic  South Korea 3–2
1988 West Germany Hamburger SV (West Germany) Austria FC Tirol Innsbruck 1–0
1989–1990 (Not Held)
1991 Austria SK Admira Wacker  China Olympic Team 3–0
1992 (Not Held)
1993  Malaysia South Korea South Korea B 3–1 2
1994 (Not Held)
1995  Iraq Hungary Budapesti Vasas SC 2–0
1996–1999 (Not Held)
2000  New Zealand  Malaysia 2–0
2001  Uzbekistan  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–1
2002–2005 (Not Held)
2006  Myanmar  Indonesia 2–1
2007  Malaysia U-23  Myanmar 3–1
2008  Vietnam U-22  Malaysia 0–0 (Penalties) 6–5
2009–2012 (Not Held)
2013  Malaysia U-23  Myanmar U-23 2–0
2014–2021 (Not Held)

Note: 1 All teams participant fielded their strongest side and their match are regarded as full internationals for their association. 2 South Korea was represented by a reserve team with some senior players.

Teams' achievements[edit]

Below are the record of teams in Pestabola Merdeka competitions (1957–present).

# Teams Champions Runners-up Trophy shared Total
1  Malaysia (including Malaya) 10 7 2 17
2  South Korea 7 2 2 9
3  Myanmar/Burma 4 4 1 7
4  Indonesia 3 4 7
5  Iraq 2 2 4
6 South Korea South Korea B 3 1 1 4
7  Vietnam (including  South Vietnam) 2 2
8  Malaysia U-23 2 2
9  Czechoslovakia 1 1 2
10  Taiwan[note 1] 1 1 2
11 Austria SK Admira Wacker 1 1
11 ArgentinaBuenos Aires Buenos Aires XI 1 1
11 West Germany Hamburger SV 1 1
11 Hong Kong Hong Kong League XI[note 1] 1 1
11  Morocco 1 1
11  New Zealand 1 1
11 BrazilSanta Catarina (state) Santa Catarina XI 1 1
11  Uzbekistan 1 1
11 South Korea Yangzee 1 1
12  India 2 2
12  Japan 2 2
13  Pakistan 1 1
13  Kuwait 1 1
13 BrazilSão Paulo (state) Sao Paulo XI 1 1
13  Ghana 1 1
13  Algeria 1 1
13 BrazilMinas Gerais Minas Gerais XI 1 1
13 BrazilRio de Janeiro (state) América FC Rio de Janeiro 1 1
13 Austria FC Tirol Innsbruck 1 1
13 China China Olympic 1 1
13 Hungary Budapesti Vasas SC 1 1
13  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 1
13  Myanmar U-23 1 1

Goalscorers[edit]

Overall top scorers[edit]

Rank Player Team Matches Goals
1 Mokhtar Dahari Malaysia Malaysia 50 36[17]
2 Kunishige Kamamoto Japan Japan 18 22[18]
3 Abdul Kadir Indonesia Indonesia 36 22[19]
4 Cha Bum-kun South Korea South Korea 34 21[20]
5 Abdul Ghani Minhat Malaysia Malaysia 32

19[21]

Notable players[edit]

Here are some prominent footballers, who participated in this competition.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Hong Kong sent its team that consisted of players that represented Republic of China (Taiwan) or Hong Kong from 1957 to 1961. From 1963 to 1968 here, the team officially represented Republic of China (Taiwan) yet was Hong Kong-based Republic of China international footballers; Hong Kong's national team also formally joined since 1965 as well as Taiwan's.
  2. ^ See South Korea national football team results (1960–69).
  3. ^ See Japan national football team results (1960–69).
  4. ^ See South Korea national football team results (1970–79).
  5. ^ See Japan national football team results (1970–79).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ASIAN ICONS: TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA AL HAJ". AFC at Wayback Machine. 5 August 2014. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ "OCM Sports Museum & Hall of Fame: Tunku Abdul Rahman". OCM at Wayback Machine. 12 April 2010. Archived from the original on 12 April 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  3. ^ Ajitpal Singh (7 September 2013). "Glory beckons Malaysia". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  4. ^ Ted Gim (2 September 2008). ""Hari Merdeka" Observed in Seoul". The Seoul Times. malaysia.or.kr. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ Asiaweek. Asiaweek Limited. 1990.
  6. ^ Eric Samuel (31 August 2017). "Halcyon days of Malaysian football". The Star. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  7. ^ Sulaiman Ismail (25 December 2018). "Pestabola Merdeka Akan Dianjurkan Mengikut Kalendar FIFA". Semuanya Bola (in Malay). Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 25 December 2018.
  8. ^ T. Avineshwaran (13 May 2004). "Sporting landmarks through the years". The Star. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Football Tournaments". Thursday, 3 November 2022
  10. ^ "Merdeka Tournament". International football.net. 25 October 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  11. ^ Neil Morrison (10 September 2015). "Merdeka Tournament (Malaysia)". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Malaysia national football team 'A' international record: [1959-60 season]". 11v11. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Malaysia national football team 'A' international record: [1960-61 season]". 11v11. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  14. ^ "Malaysia national football team 'A' international record: [1973-74 season]". 11v11. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Kuwait national football team 'A' international record: [1973-74 season]". 11v11. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Malaysia national football team 'A' international record: [1975-76 season]". 11v11. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  17. ^ Mamrud, Roberto (18 March 2021). "Mohamed Mokhtar Dahari – Century of International Appearances". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 18 June 2021. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
  18. ^ Hatano, Morio. "Kunishige Kamamoto - Goals in international matches". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  19. ^ Nazim, Samsun. "Abdul Kadir - Century of International Appearances". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 30 December 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  20. ^ Villante, Eric. "Bum-Kun Cha - Century of international appearances". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 3 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  21. ^ Villante, Eric. "Abdul Ghani Minhat – Goals in International Matches". RSSSF. Archived from the original on 15 April 2021. Retrieved 5 February 2022.

External links[edit]