PETALING JAYA: The national Under-19 team under coach K. Rajagopal will be playing in the Premier League, which kicks off next month.
The decision was made at the FA of Malaysia (FAM) exco meeting chaired by president Sultan Ahmad Shah at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
FAM deputy president Khairy Jamaluddin said the Under-19 boys would also be playing in the FA Cup, replacing the Singapore Under-23 team who were non-committal over their participation.
This is to give the young charges a head start to play in a competitive league from an early age, said Khairy of the Under-19 squad's participation in the Premier League.
Thirteen teams will be playing in the Super and Premier leagues respectively. The season opener the Charity Shield match between Kedah and Perlis wll be played at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Star on Nov 18.
Meanwhile, Brunei DPMM will not be eligible to play in the Malaysia Cup although they finished as one of the two top club sides in the Super League. They will still be involved in the Super League and for the first time invited to play in the FA Cup competition.
Khairy said only the top two local clubs in the MSL will be invited for the Malaysia Cup, hence Brunei cannot be involved.
Super League team Johor FC and UPB-MyTeam, who finished runners-up to Police in the Premier League, will now play in the 18-team Malaysia Cup. The Malaysia Cup is open to all 14 states, Police and Armed Forces.
The exco also directed all the MSL teams to include two Under-21 players in their squad, with one in the starting line-up. The draw for the MSL will be held on Nov 3.
Former FAM vice-president Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin was appointed an independent member and will also sit in the exco. Raja Ahmad, who lost by just two votes in the hotly-contested battle for the post of vice-president, will also head the FAM disciplinary committee.