FAM: 2021 M-League may be postponed if govt extends MCO

FAM deputy president Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said there was a strong possibility the curtain raiser for the 2021 Malaysia League (M-League) scheduled on February 26 could not be held even if the MCO is continued for a two-week period. — AFP pic
FAM deputy president Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said there was a strong possibility the curtain raiser for the 2021 Malaysia League (M-League) scheduled on February 26 could not be held even if the MCO is continued for a two-week period. — AFP pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 ― Local football fans pining for local football action may have to wait much longer for its return if the movement control order (MCO) which ends on January 26 is extended.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said there was a strong possibility the curtain raiser for the 2021 Malaysia League (M-League) scheduled on February 26 could not be held even if the MCO is continued for a two-week period.

He said the extension of the MCO would give the teams only less than three weeks before facing the first match of the league and more worrying is when the teams could also not hold their training sessions during the MCO.

‘’On paper, a two-week extension of the MCO will mean it will end on February 9. This means the Super League and Premier League teams only have two weeks to make preparations to face the league competitions.

‘’The teams must be given at least one month to make preparations because we understand that the teams cannot hold training sessions during the MCO,’’ said Mohd Yusoff, who is also a Malaysia Football League’s (MFL) member of the board of directors, told Bernama, today.

Last season saw the M-League competition which started at the end of February being forced to be postponed until the end of August following a government’s ban in the effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Mohd Yusoff said the MFL secretariat was preparing a strategic plan including looking at various options to ensure the 2021 M-League competition could still be continued as planned.

In the meantime, Mohd Yusoff said numerous efforts were being done by MFL to adapt to the constraints cropping up but the status of progress of the M-League was still subject to the decision of the government whether to extend the MCO or otherwise.

On Monday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the government had decided to implement the MCO in six states, namely, Penang, Selangor, Federal Territories, Melaka, Johor and Sabah for 14 days from January 13.

The conditional MCO were implemented in six more states, namely, Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Kelantan while the recovery MCO was implemented in Perlis and Sarawak, for the same period. ― Bernama

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