There was a big fanfare on July 16, the very first day that US-based Wan Kuzri joined the Malaysia U-19 training camp, not only by a curious horde of media personnel by also by his brother Wan Fayhsal who also happens to be the Deputy Youth and Sports Minister of Malaysia.
His presence raised suggestions from some quarters that it may influence Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and head coach Brad Maloney to ensure Wan Kuzri reach the final squad for the 2020 AFC U19 Championship but the notion has been rubbished by the governing body through a statement released on July 18.
FAM's general-secretary Stuart Ramalingam said in his statement that just like the Marcel Kalonda case, there isn't a practice within the organisation to compromise on quality because of relationships and stressed that Wan Kuzri will be given a fair and just audition of his level as a footballer.
"FAM does not take shortcuts nor go against the rules in place when it comes to selecting players. The internal FAM process includes decisions from the coach and FAM committee that is aided by evaluation protocols from a technical aspect that is respected and fair for all parties.
"In the case of Wan Kuzri, he has obeyed the quarantine process in his return from United States to be part of the Under-19 training squad. And he will be judged like everyone else based on his technical abilities where he has to convince the panel of coaches that he is worthy to be selected.
"So there's no special treatment that is given to any player. We are respectful of all the processes whether that is internal or external, especially when it comes to player evaluation from a technical point which we don't depend entirely on just reputation and video recordings.
"No player can think he will be selected automatically based on reputation. But FAM is always ready to give help and opportunity to any player who is sincere in putting on the national jersey," said Ramalingam in his statement.
After two weeks in isolation and quarantine upon arriving in Malaysia, Wan Kuzri will have just half the time to impress the coaches compared to the other players in the training camp who has had a two-week head start on him although it would look on the surface that the rest of the squad was rather welcoming towards him in that first training session.
The training camp will only be until the end of July with the possibility of friendly matches still being mulled over to give all the players a chance to be part of the next training camp in preparation for Tashkent.