FAM: Teams can field all their foreign imports in M-League

KUALA LUMPUR: Local footballers in the M-League may soon find their playing time limited after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided that teams will be allowed to field all four foreign players in the starting line-up.

The FAM Executive Committee extraordinary meeting chaired by their president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah also decided that the Charity Shield showdown between Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim and Malaysia Cup winner Pahang at the Larkin Stadium in Johor Baru will be played on Jan 31 instead of Jan 16.

The league will commence on a date that will be announced soon.

According to Tengku Abdullah the rationale behind the usage of four imports is to make the league more competitive. And from the four foreign signings, one player must be from Asia.

And the president is adamant that such implementation will not cause any negative effects on local players.

“The majority of the state FAs and clubs want to fully utilise their foreign signings they have in their team, so we decided as such,” added Tengku Abdullah.

“The local players do not have to worry whether they are good enough to play. If you’re not, then it’s time to buck up and start doubling your effort, sleep early and cut down on smoking.

“Like everywhere else, you got to fight for your place. There’s no excuse.”

Last season, teams were allowed to sign a maximum of four foreigners, but only three can be fielded during a match.

On the postponement of the M-League season, Tengku Abdullah explained that the FAM need a little more time to finalise the sponsorship and television rights deals with their new marketing partner.