KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 10 — The Malaysian Football League (MFL) have today appealed to the National Security Council (NSC) to reconsider its decision to postpone the 2020 Malaysia Cup competition.
MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan hoped MKN would allow the competition, which is now at the quarter-final stage, to be held in accordance with strict standard operating procedures (SOPs), including holding the matches in a quarantine-based manner.
“For example, the quarter-finalists will play in one state right up to the final. Teams who are eliminated will leave the state.
“The decision to submit the appeal has the backing of the eight quarter-finalists. They are willing to play according to the planning and SOPs set in place by the MFL and NSC,” he said in a statement today.
Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the MKN decided to postpone the 2020 Malaysia Cup tournament to a later date as it felt that the sport involved physical contact between players that could increase the risk of Covid-19 infection.
The government had earlier announced that the conditional movement control order (CMCO) would be implemented throughout all the states in the peninsula, except for Pahang, Perlis and Kelantan, effective for four weeks from Nov 9 until Dec 6.
Ab Ghani said the MFL had held several discussions with Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican to find alternative ways after the government announced the announcement last Saturday.
“The MFL made plans to proceed with the competition in non-CMCO states and had also applied to use the Sultan Mohamad IV Stadium in Kota Bharu and Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final,” he said.
Ab Ghani said that postponing the Malaysia Cup would have a lot of impact on the national football industry, especially the MFL and participating teams, in terms of agreements signed with sponsors for the 2020 season.
Apart from that, the 2020 Malaysia League (M-League) contracts the players signed with their respective teams are also set to expire at the end of this month, thus making it difficult for the MFL to postpone this season’s Malaysia Cup competition.
The quarter-final matches were supposed to see defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) facing Kuala Lumpur; Penang taking on UiTM FC; Terengganu squaring off with Perak; and Kedah meeting 33-time champions Selangor.
The first round of the Malaysia Cup was held from Nov 6-8; quarter-finals (Nov 12-13); semi-finals (Nov 17); and final (Nov 22). — Bernama