No football matches, Ismail Sabri tells FAM who requested for special exemption

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Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pointed out that the current SOP under the movement control order disallows any gathering and a football match is already a breach of the regulations. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob pointed out that the current SOP under the movement control order disallows any gathering and a football match is already a breach of the regulations. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 25 — The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has been firmly told by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob that the Malaysian League matches will not be granted any form of exemption whatsoever.

Speaking at his daily press conference today, the defence minister pointed out that the current standard operating procedure (SOP) under the movement control order (MCO) disallows any gathering and a football match is already a breach of the regulations.

“The SOP does not allow any groups to gather. You can’t play football alone on one side. You need two teams. On the field, there are already 22 players. It’s not like badminton where you stay on your side of the net alone and face your opponent.

“There will be physical contact in football. And based on our SOP, obviously, football matches are not allowed,” Ismail Sabri firmly stressed.

The FAM had requested special exemption and a new SOP specifically to allow the Malaysia League to complete its tournament which has been suspended since March. This is despite calls of caution coming from its own fanbase.

Ismail Sabri then further pointed out that even after the MCO period is over, mass public gatherings are still banned nationwide to ensure that the novel coronavirus will not make a comeback in Malaysia.

He elaborated that they are not sure how long the suspension will go on.

Currently, the National Security Council (NSC) is formulating a new post-MCO SOP.

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