KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Football League (MFL) has maintained its decision not to allow Malaysian League (M-League) teams to carry out any footballing activities including training sessions until approved by the National Security Council (MKN).

MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said the decision was in line with the government’s decision to extend the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) until June 9, in which football was not listed under the sporting activities allowed.

He said the MFL as the governing body of the M-League, hoped that teams would abide by the directive until further announcements were made over the matter.

“As such, activities such as team training sessions, friendly matches and interstate travel are not permitted, as previously enforced by the MKN.

“If any team is conducting any football activity without the permission of MKN, it clearly violates the rules under Act 342,” he said in a statement today.

He said the MFL would take stern action against any M-League found have breached any of the directives during the CMCO.

Ab Ghani stressed that the MFL will continue to keep abreast of developments and recommendations from the MKN and the Ministry of Health (MOH) before authorising M-League stakeholders to carry out football activities should domestic action resume this season.

“In accordance with circulars distributed to all stakeholders of the Malaysian League, teams are not allowed to hold any training sessions including small scale training, gym sessions or otherwise, as per the directives of the MKN, MOH and the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS).

“It is hoped that all teams remain patient and abstain from holding any training programmes as we must abide by the directives of the authorities in ensuring that all teams comply with standard operating procedures (SOPs) as directed by the MOH,” he said.

The M-League has been put on hold since March 18 after the government announced the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of COVID-19.

A sports news portal recently reported that the Selangor Football Association (FAS) was seeking permission from the state government to resume training sessions using SOPs in line with the MOH’s guidelines beginning June 9.

The SOP includes undergoing screening tests before commencing training, practising social distancing measures and holding training sessions with only five or six players at a time.

In the same statement, Ab Ghani said the MFL would be preparing a proposal on the new calendar for the 2020 M-League season along with the SOP for team training and matches after the CMCO period, to be submitted to MKN through KBS.

Earlier, the MFL had announced plans to resume the Super League and Premier League competitions on Sept 1 and 2, and end them by Sept 26 and 27, with only half of the original number of matches to be played, while the Malaysia Cup was planned to take place from Oct 17 and 18 until Nov 7, and the FA and Challenge cups cancelled.

“If the plan is approved by the government, then all teams are expected to begin training sessions in August according to the SOPs for training and matches to be issued by the Football Association of Malaysia and MFL based on guidelines issued by the MKN, MOH, KBS, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA),” he said.


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