M-League teams give new fixtures the thumbs up

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — All Malaysia League (M-League) teams have agreed to the new fixtures released by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) for the second half of the Super League and Premier League campaigns next month.

Petaling Jaya (PJ) City FC head coach P. Maniam described the new fixtures as “fair”, saying every team would have more time to prepare, especially taking into considering the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0.

With The Phoenix yet to begin their camp-based training session, he admitted that he would need more time to whip his team into shape for the remaining matches in the 2021 Super League.

“As a coach, I feel that the fixtures are balanced, seeing as to how the Harimau Malaya squad, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Terengganu FC (TFC) and Kedah Darul Aman (KDA) FC also have other assignments.

“After that, they also have to undergo 14 days of quarantine. So, I feel that it will not be a problem for us to resume the M-League from July 24,” he said in a statement issued by the MFL today.

According to the fixtures released by the MFL yesterday, the Premier League and Super League will resume on July 3 and July 24 respectively after the completion of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers as well as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League and AFC Cup competitions.

The Qualifiers are set to end on June 15, the AFC Champions League on July 7 and the AFC Cup on July 6.

Meanwhile, Terengganu FC coach Nafuzi Zain hoped that the fixtures for the AFC Cup, which also involves KDA FC and scheduled to start on June 29, would not be changed although the venue has yet to be decided following Singapore’s decision to pull out as hosts.

This, he said, was because any changes to the AFC Cup fixtures would affect his team’s preparations as well as have an impact on the other M-League teams not involved in that competition.

Negeri Sembilan FC head coach K. Devan also agreed that there was ample time for him to prepare his Super League side since they would have about three weeks to get cracking.

The MFL also confirmed the new dates for the two postponed Premier League matches, namely between Selangor FC 2 and Sarawak United FC (due to bad weather) as well as between Perak FC II and Kelantan FC (due to Kelantan FC players being told to undergo a 10-day quarantine by the Ministry of Health after some of them tested positive for COVID-19).

Perak FC II will now take on Kelantan FC on June 29 while Selangor FC 2 will meet Sarawak United on June 30. — Bernama

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