EXCLUSIVE Australia’s U23s Olyroos will be based in Malaysia next month after FFA ditched Bangkok as a base following the furore over Hakeem Al-Araibi.
With Socceroos coach Graham Arnold also at the helm of Australia’s next generation of national team players, the Olyroos will also play two friendlies against the Malaysian U23s in Kuala Lumpur and a local club side.
The Australians arrive on March 11 and play Malaysia U23s on March 17 in KL. They also face local club PJ City FC on March 14.
The team will be based in KL and use it as a training base till March 18 when they travel Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh for their 2020 AFC U-23 qualifiers.
There, they'll face the host nation Chinese Taipei and group heavyweight Korea Republic.
The Malaysian camp and friendlies were arranged after FFA switched the initial training base from Bangkok following a campaign to free footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi from a jail in the Thai capital earlier this month.
The Olyroos were set to play against China in Bangkok as part of their preparations.
In a statement earlier this month, Socceroos and Olyroos head coach Graham Arnold said the FFA had reassessed its plans because of Al-Araibi's plight.
“Last year, the National Team Department had put some preliminary plans in place to play against China in Bangkok as part of our important preparation for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualifiers to be held in Cambodia in March," he said.
“On our return from the recent AFC Asian Cup, we reassessed our plans due to the ongoing detainment of Australian footballer Hakeem al-Araibi in a Thai prison."