Malaysian football to be halted from Monday


PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and Malaysian Football League (MFL) have pulled the plug on all football activities in the country starting next Monday.The M-League, together with all lower-tier and youth football competitions, will be postponed indefinitely after this weekend’s proceedings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The national body made the decision after an emergency meeting with stakeholders, sponsors, the Health Ministry, National Sports Council (NSC) and National Sports Institute (NSI) at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.

This weekend’s matches, which involve the Super League, Premier League, M3 League, M4 League, President’s Cup, Youth Cup and the Malaysian Premier Futsal League (MPFL), will all be played behind closed doors.

FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the decision was taken to safeguard the health of everyone.

“We have decided to postpone all football activities including the M-League matches, youth level football competitions, and futsal competitions.

“We hope all our state affiliates will do the same at the state level including the social leagues, ” said Hamidin who is also the MFL chairman.

“The M-League matches scheduled this weekend will go through... this is following the feedback from some of the teams. We were told that some teams have already travelled for the matches.

“The solution is to hold the matches scheduled for this week behind closed doors. Hand sanitisers and thermometers will be stationed at all entry points in the stadium as a precaution.

“This decision is in line with the Health Ministry’s advice to avoid all mass gatherings... It is a tough decision, but it is the best option for the sake of the players, officials, fans and the industry as a whole.”

Hamidin added that the national team’s centralised training camp for the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup qualifying matches scheduled on March 26 and 31, has been called off.

Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe had been looking to play at least a friendly match on one of those days after FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation ordered the postponement of the matches.

Hamidin said a plan to use those dates for M-League matches had also been scrapped.

“With the current Covid-19 situation, we felt postponing is the better option, ” said Hamidin.

“As I said, we can’t compromise on safety and health matters. I hope the situation with Covid-19 is resolved soon.”

Malaysia are the second Asean country to suspend domestic football competition after Thailand. China, South Korea, Japan and Iran are among the Asian countries that have postponed their local football competitions.

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