JOHOR BARU: Some 240 Johor athletes have withdrawn from the state contingent bound for the 2020 Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Kuala Lumpur which is expected to take place this year.
Johor State Sports Council (MSNJ) Youth and Sports officer Mohd Syafiq Hassan said the withdrawal of all these athletes from representing the state in the country’s foremost national games was due to reasons of age, pursuit of further studies and priority for employment.
The age limit to participate in the Sukma is 21.
“In general, this is happening (athletes withdrawing), not only in Johor but many other states as well. In Johor, almost 40% of the 600 athletes have withdrawn from sports programmes.
“Education, age and contemplation for the future like job prospects (are among the factors cited for the withdrawal).
“We cannot stop them in terms of consideration for their own future,” he said after the signing of a Memorandum of Under-standing between the Johor Cricket Council (JCC) and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman for the development of cricket in Johor yesterday.
Syafiq, however, explained that the vacant slots have been filled by other athletes through their development programmes.
“We hope that with our athletes in the development stage for Sukma 2020, they will be able to shoulder the responsibility for our charge (in Sukma 2024),” he said.
Johor will be hosting the 2024 edition. — Bernama