FAM planning next year’s activities with Covid-19 in mind


  • Football
  • Sunday, 30 Aug 2020

PETALING JAYA: Even as the M-League restarts after a five-month hiatus, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are planning for the worst-case scenario next year.

The government’s decision to extend the recovery movement control order (RMCO), from Aug 31 to Dec 31 has made the outlook bleaker.The M-League resumed this week behind closed doors with several M-League teams already facing financial issues.

FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said there was so much uncertainty but the national body will have to plan for football to continue under the spectre of Covid-19.

“The Prime Minister announced the extension of the RMCO until end of the year and since there’s no vaccine yet, we can’t be sure how things will be next year,” Hamidin told a press conference after the FAM Congress yesterday.

“The Covid-19 hit us hard this year, a lot of football activities were affected including the postponement of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and I foresee more international competitions to be postponed next year.”

“We need to plan for next year based on a worst case scenario. Footballing activities may come to a halt but football administration will have to go on and we need to find solutions.”

Despite the economical fallout, the FAM have managed to extend their partnership with official airline partner, Malaysia Airlines Berhad for another three years from 2021 until 2023, following the original two-year arrangement that expires on Dec 31.

Hamidin said he was grateful for MAB’s support and believes football can still offer an attractive partnership during these testing times.

He added that FAM would continue appealing for football fans to be allowed in to matches in limited numbers.

“The new deal will see better terms for us and allow the national teams to have more flights for matches.” said Hamidin.

“We are in the recovery period now and a small gathering with 200 people is allowed so we will appeal to the National Security Council to allow football fans to attend matches ... maybe we start with 200 people.”

“Of course, all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and regulation will be implemented.”

On his position, Hamidin said he would only decide whether to extend his stay with FAM when his term ends next year.

“I thank and appreciate the delegates for their support but I will decide at the end of my term. Another term means another four years of service. It needs a lot of thinking... I need to fine-tune what needs to be done,” he said.

“It’s a huge responsibility and I don’t want to just take it for the sake of it. A lot of planning is needed to elevate our football to a higher level.”

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