Ismail Sabri: M-League competition put off until further notice

The Malaysian League (M-League) competition for the 2020 season will not be allowed to take place even after the end of the Movement Control Order period,

Ismail Sabri said all local football tournaments had to be postponed to a date to be announced later. - Pic BERNAMA | Astro Awani
The Malaysian League (M-League) competition for the 2020 season will not be allowed to take place even after the end of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

He said all local football tournaments had to be postponed to a date to be announced later.

“The standard operating procedure (SOP) issued dictates that any form of public gathering is not allowed and football games as we know cannot be played alone, must have a team. And, there are already 22 people when two teams are on the field, not like badminton matches where singles matches are available.

“So this will result in physical contacts, being in contact with each other. Based on this SOP, we cannot allow football matches to be held even after the MCO,” he said at a press conference here today.

He also said after the end of the MCO period, the people would not be able to move freely as before and would be bound by certain SOPs to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Commenting further, Ismail Sabri said the National Security Council (MKN) was currently drafting an SOP that the people should follow after the end of the MCO period.

"Even if the MCO is terminated, assemblies such as programmes involving attendance in groups are still not allowed, but the period until when the SOP will be enforced will be announced later as MKN is formulating the SOP after the MCO is over," he said.

Recently, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) reportedly sent an official request to MKN and the Ministry of Health (MOH) to obtain views and approvals for SOPs which would be complied with to enable the M-League 2020 competition to continue.

Both national football entities were understood to have drawn up SOPs for each competing team, with all players and team officials required to undergo a COVID-19 screening test to ensure that everyone involved is free from the outbreak.

FAM and MFL had postponed all football activities they organised since March 16 following the outbreak of COVID-19, in addition to complying with the enforcement of the MCO to break the epidemic. - BERNAMA