KUALA LUMPUR: The football season is heating up. And the thermometers are coming out.
Heat checks will be done on all fans entering stadiums. They will also be provided with hand sanitisers as a precaution against the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) threat.
Football Association of Malaysia’s (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the measures are already in place and will be used by the national body when the Vietnam national team come here to face Malaysia in the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup Group G qualifiers at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on March 31.
“We have also told clubs playing in the Malaysian Leagues to do the same during the season. If there is any additional instructions from the Health Ministry, we will follow that too, ” he said.
“We wanted to reduce the risk of the virus even though the outbreak is coming under control. The precautions will be to do heat checks at the gates and also to provide hand sanitizers to each and every fan in the stadium, ” he told a media dialogue at a restaurant in Taman Tun Dr Ismail here yesterday.
FAM have called off the national team’s friendly match against Bahrain, which was scheduled to be held at the Khalifa Sports City Stadium in the city of Isa on March 21, due to the disease.
The decision was made following the Bahrain government’s order to tighten travel to countries that are involved in the Covid-19 outbreak, including Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea and Iran, last Friday.
Meanwhile, Hamidin, who is also the Malaysia Football League (MFL) president said clubs in the Super and Premier League should be smart when it comes to financial management.
He said the implementation of the Economic Control Programme (ECP) is meant to put an end to financial problems by urging teams to follow their budget and plan well for the upcoming years.
“Teams are beginning to understand the ECP, and it has been an education for them. We do not want teams to overspend, but this year is not about enforcement, but education.
“In 2021, we will be serious, and we will ensure that enforcement is in full force. The 24 stakeholders in the league are aware of it. For me, teams have to be prudent.
“We cannot see results in two or three months. It will come good in about three years.
“ECP as a programme is great, and it cannot fail. So our enforcement must be good.”
“If you have debts, settle them first. I understand you want to win trophies, but the competition is every year, so you have a chance.
“It is important to have good financial management in place. Think about the future, instead of the present. Spend wisely so your future is secure.”
As for his plans to stabilise the leagues in Malaysia, Hamidin said he could do it by the end of this year, and the progress is at about 60%.
“Recently, we signed deals with new sponsors and told them what we wanted. I have also asked the MFL secretariat and even league stakeholders to be more proactive in raising the commercial value of the league.
“We signed three-year deals with our sponsors because we want to raise the value of the league so we can have a good base for negotiations when the contract term ends.”