Pestabola Merdeka

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Pestabola Merdeka
Pestabola Merdeka logo badge.jpg
Special golden jubilee logo marks a 50th anniversary of tournament in 2007
Founded1957;64 years ago (1957)
RegionInternational
Number of teamsVaried
Current champions Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia U-23 (2nd titles)
Most successful team(s)Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia (10 titles)

Pestabola Merdeka or Merdeka Tournament is a friendly football tournament held in Malaysia to commemorate the Independence Day. The competition bears the Malay word for independence. As at 2021 it has been held 40 times, and decreasingly in recent decades.

Contents

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

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. 1958 Merdeka Cup Winner, Malaya.jpg
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.

The Pestabola Merdeka is Asia`s oldest football tournament which invited football playing nations to compete since 1957. [1] [2] [3] 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. [4] 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.

The first edition of the Pestabola Merdeka was held in August and September 1957 with Hong Kong emerging inaugural champions. [5] 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.

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 football team (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

Below are the list of champions in Pestabola Merdeka competitions since 1957. [6]

YearChampionsRunners-upScore in finalNotes
1957 Flag of Hong Kong 1876.svg Hong Kong League XI [note 1] Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia (tournament in group stages)1
1958 Flag of Malaya.svg  Malaya Flag of Hong Kong 1876.svg Hong Kong League XI [note 1]
1959 Flag of Malaya.svg  Malaya [7] Flag of India.svg  India
1960Flag of Malaya.svg  Malaya [8]
Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea [note 2]
0–0(trophy shared)1
1961Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Flag of Malaya.svg  Malaya 2–11
1962 Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan 2–11
1963Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan [note 1] Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan [note 3] (tournament in group stages)1
1964Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma Flag of India.svg  India 1–01
1965Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea
Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan [note 1]
1–1(trophy shared)1
1966Flag of South Vietnam.svg  South Vietnam Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma 1–01
1967 Flag of South Korea.svg Yangzee
Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma
0–0(trophy shared)1
1968Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma 3–0
1969Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 3–2
1970Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea [note 4] Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma 1–0
1971 Flag of Burma (1948-1974).svg  Burma Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 1–01
1972 Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 2–1
1973Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia [9] Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait [10] 3–11
1974Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea 1–02
1975Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia [11] 1–01
1976 Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan [note 5] 2–01
1977 Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq 1–0
1978Flag of South Korea (1949-1984).svg  South Korea Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq 2–01
1979 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B
Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia
0–0(trophy shared)
1980Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 2–11
1981Flag of Iraq (1963-1991); Flag of Syria (1963-1972).svg  Iraq Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg Sao Paulo XI 1–0
1982 Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg Santa Catarina XI Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana 3–0
1983 Flag of Argentina.svg Buenos Aires XI Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria XI 2–1
1984 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg Minas Gerais XI 2–0
1985 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B Flag of Brazil (1968-1992).svg America FC Rio de Janeiro 7–4 (a.e.t)
1986Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia XI 3–0
1987Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia Olympic Flag of South Korea (1984-1997).svg  South Korea 3–2
1988 Flag of Germany.svg Hamburger SV (West Germany) Flag of Austria.svg FC Tirol Innsbruck 1–0
1989–1990(Not Held)
1991 Flag of Austria.svg SK Admira Wacker Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China Olympic Team 3–0
1992(Not Held)
1993 Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B 3–12
1994(Not Held)
1995 Flag of Iraq (1991-2004).svg  Iraq Flag of Hungary.svg Budapesti Vasas SC 2–0
1996–1999(Not Held)
2000 Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 2–0
2001 Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2–1
2002–2005(Not Held)
2006 Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg  Myanmar Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 2–1
2007 Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia U-23 Flag of Myanmar (1974-2010).svg  Myanmar 3–1
2008 Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam U-22 Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia 0–0(Penalties) 6–5
2009–2012(Not Held)
2013 Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia U-23 Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar U-23 2–0
2014–2020(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

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

#TeamsChampionsRunners-upTrophy sharedTotal
1Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia (including Flag of Malaya.svg Malaya)107217
2Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 7229
3Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar/Burma 3417
4Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 34-7
5Flag of Iraq.svg  Iraq 22-4
6 Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea B 3114
7Flag of Vietnam.svg  Vietnam (including Flag of South Vietnam.svg  South Vietnam )2--2
8Flag of Malaysia.svg  Malaysia U-23 2--2
9Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czechoslovakia 11-2
10Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan [note 1] 1-12
11 Flag of Austria.svg SK Admira Wacker 1--1
11 Flag of Argentina.svg Bandera de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.svg Buenos Aires XI 1--1
11 Flag of Germany.svg Hamburger SV 1--1
11 Flag of Hong Kong 1876.svg Hong Kong League XI [note 1] 1--1
11Flag of Morocco.svg  Morocco 1--1
11Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 1--1
11 Flag of Brazil.svg Bandeira de Santa Catarina.svg Santa Catarina XI 1--1
11Flag of Uzbekistan.svg  Uzbekistan 1--1
11 Flag of South Korea.svg Yangzee 1--1
12Flag of India.svg  India -2-(2)
12Flag of Japan.svg  Japan -2-(2)
13Flag of Pakistan.svg  Pakistan -1-(1)
13Flag of Kuwait.svg  Kuwait -1-(1)
13 Flag of Brazil.svg Bandeira do estado de Sao Paulo.svg Sao Paulo XI -1-(1)
13Flag of Ghana.svg  Ghana -1-(1)
13Flag of Algeria.svg  Algeria -1-(1)
13 Flag of Brazil.svg Bandeira de Minas Gerais.svg Minas Gerais XI -1-(1)
13 Flag of Brazil.svg Bandeira do estado do Rio de Janeiro.svg América FC Rio de Janeiro -1-(1)
13 Flag of Austria.svg FC Tirol Innsbruck -1-(1)
13 Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China Olympic Team -1-(1)
13 Flag of Hungary.svg Budapesti Vasas SC -1-(1)
13Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina -1-(1)
13Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar U-23 -1-(1)

Goalscorers

Overall top scorers

RankPlayerTeamGoals
1 Mokhtar Dahari Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia 36 [12]
2 Kunishige Kamamoto Flag of Japan.svg Japan 22 [13]
3 Cha Bum-Kun Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea 21 [14]

Notable players

Here are some prominent footballers that have participated in this competition.

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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).

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The Hong Kong national football team represents Hong Kong in international football and is controlled by the Hong Kong Football Association, the governing body for football in Hong Kong. Hong Kong was the first in Asia to hold the AFC Asian Cup in 1956 and won third place, and was also semi-finalist in 1964. Hong Kong has not qualified for another AFC tournament since 1968. Hong Kong had never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and its biggest celebrated victory was the 1986 FIFA World Cup qualification (AFC) where Hong Kong produced a 2–1 upset win against China which resulted in Hong Kong qualifying for the second rounds of qualification. Hong Kong has qualified for the EAFF E-1 Football Championship five times in 1995, 1998, 2003, 2010 and 2019.

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References

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  3. Asiaweek. Asiaweek Limited. 1990.
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