PETALING JAYA: Kosovo-born midfielder Liridon Krasniqi (pic) is now eligible to play for the national team.

The 28-year-old has been granted Malaysian citizenship and became the second M-League footballer to receive his Malaysian identity card at the National Registration Department in Putrajaya yesterday.

However, Krasniqi will not be available for national coach Tan Cheng Hoe’s selection for upcoming 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup qualifying second-round matches against the United Arab Emirates (March 26), Vietnam (March 31) and Thailand (June 9) because he was not registered in the initial list prior to the start of the qualifiers.

Krasniqi , however, will be available for the national team in friendly matches. He can only be fielded for competitive matches in the next round of the qualifiers.

Cheng Hoe said Krasniqi’s citizenship was positive news for the national team.

“We still have to wait for the green light from FIFA. Once everything is cleared, he’ll be eligible for a national call-up but only for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers,” said the former international who coached Krasniqi in Kedah before.

“He had not played for almost a year due to an injury lay-off, so we will monitor his condition when he returns but he certainly has the qualities which will be a plus for the national team.”

Krasniqi made his debut in the M-League with Kedah, where he featured from 2015-2018. He then joined Melaka for the 2019 season before joining Johor Darul Ta’zim for the 2020 season.

The Football Association of Malaysia said they would submit documents of Krasniqi’s citizenship to FIFA to complete the documentation process.

Gambia-born Mohamadou Sumareh became the first naturalised player in July – after having lived in the country since the age of 12.

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