KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 — All Malaysian League (M-League) football teams can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) has given permission for all team and combat sports to begin training on June 15.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican said all sports were allowed to conduct training, with participants avoiding body contact by maintaining three to five metres of social distancing.
However, he stressed that team sports such as football, hockey, rugby and netball, and combat sports such as karate, taekwondo and martial arts were still not allowed to organise matches.
“This will allow the national and state football teams or clubs under the MFL (Malaysia Football League) and other registered teams to engage in no-body contact physical training in accordance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and SOP Management procedures.
“This is a start much like the English Football League which has embarked on the first phase of training without body contact. However, we use our own SOP with the approval of the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) and the National Security Council (MKN),” he told a press conference at the KBS Tower today.
However, he said if the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) wanted to carry out full-scale training involving body contact, FAM would have to apply to MKN.
He said the training would use the quarantine-based approach of the Road to Tokyo (RTT) programme to ensure the safety of athletes, coaches and staff.
“FAM had earlier requested to start the league. But for training, maybe we can apply to MKN from time to time for full skills training. It is possible to get approval if it follows strict SOP such as for the RTT programme,” he said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that under the recovery movement control order (RMCO), many types of sports and recreation activities can resume with the adoption of the relevant SOP.
In another development, Reezal Merican said motor sports were still not allowed to organise tournaments to prevent crowds from gathering, but ‘track day’ for two-wheel and four-wheel motor sports was allowed for vehicle testing.
Motor sports can resume because they do not involve close contact, he said.
Meanwhile, Reezal Merican said the ministry would announce a grant for national sports associations that were affected by the implementation of the movement control order (MCO).
“I know sports associations have been hit hard during this period. I will make an announcement on the funds to enable them to continue their sporting activities. I cannot announce the amount yet.
“At the same time I will also discuss funding for motor sports with the Ministry of Finance,” he said. — Bernama