IPOH, OCT 24 — Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu wants officials and players involved in the Malaysia Cup 2021 competition to pay more attention to the standard operating procedures (SOP) set to curb the spread of Covid-19.

He said if the matter was taken lightly, it would cause problems and could hamper the excitement of the prestigious tournament.

“We have such strict SOP in place but in the end the most important thing is each player’s own SOP. We must understand what can, what cannot be done because if we are infected it can spread to others.

“So, I expect all teams to learn from what happened before and be sensitive to the SOP set,” he said when met by reporters after attending the “Senamrobik Perdana Peja Trophy 2021” event at the Lintau Football Field here today.

On Friday (Oct 22), the Negeri Sembilan FC football squad announced that the team had to withdraw from playing in the remainder of the Malaysia Cup competition, which will continue on Oct 30, following 20 players and four officials being confirmed positive for Covid-19.

The decision had to be made as the line-up of players and officials who tested positive for Covid-19 had to undergo mandatory 10-day quarantine at home with monitoring conducted by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Ahmad Faizal said his ministry would also continue to liaise with the Malaysian Football League (MFL) to ensure that each team that competed in the Malaysia Cup was free of the virus.

“We need to know the status of these teams from time to time and it is important because if something    unexpected happens, it can be curbed sooner rather than spreading on a larger scale,” he said. — Bernama