The Malaysia national football team represents Malaysia in international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia. The national team is recognised by FIFA as the successor of the defunct Malaya national football team which was founded for the 1963 Merdeka Tournament one month before the insitution of Malaysia. The team is officially nicknamed Harimau Malaya in reference to the Malayan tiger.
Residing in the top 4 most successful teams of Southeast Asia who has won the ASEAN Football Championship at least once and other competitions while improving overall, Malaysia fails to reach greater deed outside Southeast Asia than a bronze won at the Asian Games in 1974; having participated in the Summer Olympics once and three AFC Asian Cups, the team failed to progress beyond the group stage in all occasions.
Malaysia's main rivals on the international stage are geographical neighbours: Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore, with dramatic past matches have been produced and in particular, fixtures involving Indonesia being the most heated among these that corresponds to political and social issues, named as 'Nusantara Derby' or sometimes 'Malay Derby'.
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium (Malay: Stadium Nasional Bukit Jalil) in Bukit Jalil, located in the National Sports Complex to the south of the city centre of Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur, all-seater multi-purpose stadium and the home ground of the Malaysian national football team. With a capacity of 87,411, it is the largest in Southeast Asia and the eighth largest football stadium in the world.
It was officially inaugurated by the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, on 11 July 1998 ahead of the 1998 Commonwealth Games and staged the opening ceremony. Since then, it has also became the main venue for other international multi-sport events such as the 2001 Southeast Asian Games and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, and nowadays host most Malaysian international football matches, national level football competition finals such as the Malaysia FA Cup, Malaysia Cup, athletic events and music concerts.
It was built alongside other sport venues in the National Sports Complex by United Engineers Malaysia, and designed by Arkitek FAA, Weidleplan Consulting GMBH and Schlaich Bergermann Partner. A membrane structure is used for the roof, and the most of the materials used were reinforced concrete. Before the stadium was opened, Stadium Merdeka was the national stadium of Malaysia.
The stadium, along with the National Sports Complex, is currently undergoing a major renovation at a combined cost of RM1.34 billion as a part of KL Sports City project in 2 phases. Project 1 (Phase 1) has been completed ahead and for the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, with a new Populous-designed facade that covers the exterior of the stadium with twisted vertical louvres which are also LED-lighted, as well as recolouring the seats to a yellow-black design and upgraded facilities. After the 2017 ASEAN Para Games, Project 2 (Phase 2) will commence, and will add a retractable roof, retractable seats, comfort ventilation and new sports and lifestyle facilities.