PETALING JAYA: It’s game on!
Teams preparing for their respective leagues will be allowed to train from Feb 15.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a press conference that the Cabinet and the National Security Council went through a detailed risk analysis before coming to a decision.
“The Youth and Sports Ministry came in with a suggestion to hold quarantine-based training for teams in the Malaysian Football League (MFL), Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and Sepak Takraw League (STL). The government will allow it to happen, ” he said.
“We are doing this to ease the people’s livelihood. The training venue and athlete’s movement will be controlled under the sports bubble concept. Accommodation must follow camp or home-based quarantine.”
MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said the real work starts as teams will have to adhere to the standard operating procedures strictly.
“Maybe today or Thursday we will unveil the SOPs. For now, we have to go through our procedures and also those by the authorities.
“We must be tough on the procedures because we want to ensure that the game is not affected.
“I know the coaches have asked for an extension, but we will stick to the March 5 kickoff date.
“We do not want to further cramp the calendar by postponing the league. Also, we have to understand that we have an important international assignment, the World Cup and Asia Cup qualifiers.
“We have to complete the season by November. So there will be no changes to the kickoff date.”
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal also confirmed that the MHL will still be held in March.
“The competitions committee have spoken to clubs and were told to stand by for this announcement. We have sent a letter out, and most definitely, we will have the league next month.
“This week, the committee will form a special task force to look into the SOPs. So, this announcement is timely because we want our players to get some competition.
“Having a high-level competition would help the national team, who will be taking part in international competitions soon.
“I’m sure this news is music to their ears.”