KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today warned state sports bodies against issuing their own guidelines for the Malaysia Football League (MFL) championship.
In his daily press briefing today, the defence minister said that the National Security Council (NSC) is the correct authority to determine regulations related to Covid-19.
He added that football is a game with a high tendency for physical contact, which would expose players to risks of Covid-19 infection and, as such, has been banned for now.
“They will bump into each other. When they play football, their bodies sweat and the physical contacts are very dangerous to the players. That’s why we do not allow,” he said, adding that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) can submit a plea or application to have the government consider permission for the MFL, but the date is still subject to the government’s decision.
“However they can prepare their standard operating procedures (SOPs) beforehand, so when the conditional movement control order (CMCO) ends, they can submit their plea together with the SOPs they outlined.
“I hope that states do not issue your own SOPs. State football associations, do not issue your own permissions, because every decision with regards to the football league and others including trainings, would be determined by the federal-level NSC,” he said, adding that any violation would contravene the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
Early this month, Bernama reported that the MFL planned to resume its 2020 Malaysian League (M-League) on September 1 with all the competing teams allowed to start training sessions in August.
The report, citing a statement, said that this was after the MFL’s application to resume competition in August, as well as team training sessions in July not being approved at the Special Ministerial Meeting on the Implementation of the movement control order (MCO).
Bernama reported that only the Super League and Premier League matches which are slated to start in September — other than the Malaysia Cup matches starting on Oct 17 — would take place, while the FA Cup and Challenge Cup were cancelled.
However, the fixtures for the Super League and Premier League would be using the new format of halves league introduced by MFL, while a knockout round involving 16 teams would replace the group matches in the Malaysia Cup.
The report said that MFL had also confirmed that the 2020 M-League would be cancelled without any teams being crowned as champion, should the NSC, Ministry of Health (MOH) and Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) decide against resumption of the competition in September.
Should that happen, the 2019 Super League champion would get an automatic slot in the 2021 Asian Champions League (ACL) while the 2019 Super League runner-up and the 2019 FA Cup champion would get slots in the AFC 2021 Cup, the statement from MFL reportedly stated.
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