Friday night kick

It’s kicking time again: JDT’s Diogo Santo (right) tussle for the ball with Police’s Mohd Safiee Ahmad in this Super League match on March 10. Since then the league has been suspended because of Covid-19 and will resume on Aug 28.

PETALING JAYA: The start of the M-League has been put off by two days to Friday, Aug 28. And there will be no relegation in the Premier League.

These are among the decisions made at the meeting of the Malaysian Football League (MFL) board of directors on Tuesday.

The decision to update the calendar was made following the postponement of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.

According to MFL chief Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan, the new dates for the competitions are subject to match dates for domestic, FIFA, Asian Football Confederation (AFC), and Asean Football Federation (AFF) matches.

Ab Ghani said the MFL were confident that the amended kick-off date would give the teams an advantage. They will only be playing on weekends and will have a longer period to rest and prepare between matches.

“The planning of the new calendar has taken into account factors such as the postponement of the Asian qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup, new dates for the AFC Champions League (ACL) from Oct 17 to Nov 4 that involve Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), as well as the postponement of the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup, ” he said in a statement.

“At the same time, MFL are optimistic that the amended dates will give teams enough rest and travelling periods that are more flexible, from between four and six days.

“With the postponement of World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, MFL now have additional back-up dates from Nov 10-29 in case of complications due to the pandemic.

Previously postponed matches between PJ City FC and Terengganu FC (Super League) and UKM FC vs Kelantan (Premier League) will, however, be played as scheduled on Aug 22.

Regarding the venues for Kuching FA and Sarawak United – with the pandemic still active in the state – Ab Ghani said they will be announced shortly.

He also confirmed that there will be no relegation from the Premier League this season, as the M3 League has been cancelled.

However, the relegation from Super League and promotion from Premier League will be the same.

The Malaysia Cup dates have also been changed with the round of 16 to be held from Oct 16-18, followed by the quarter-finals on Oct 24-25, semi-finals on Oct 30-31, and the final on Nov 7.

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