KUALA LUMPUR — The Malaysian Football League (MFL) today confirmed that the Super League and Premier League competitions are set to officially resume on Aug 26.
MFL in a statement today said two matches which were previously postponed, namely the Super League clash between PJ City FC and Terengganu FC as well as the Premier League action between UKM FC and Kelantan, would take place earlier on Aug 22.
The decision was made by MFL’s board of directors after taking into account various factors, including giving teams enough time to prepare and get back into shape for the competition which had been suspended since March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
MFL chief executive officer, Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said the board believed the new starting date was the most appropriate for all teams after the government allowed full training for team sports to resume on July 15.
“What is for sure, we are ready to resume the Malaysian League competition this season,” he said.
“To ensure the smooth running of the 2020 Malaysian League (M-League), the MFL had also held a meeting yesterday with the FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) Referees Committee to discuss the preparations and SOPs for the competitions,” said Ab Ghani.
He said all M-League teams must comply with certain sets procedures including having the match venue registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and certified by the MFL, as well as carrying out decontamination and disinfection at the premises.
MFL appointed match commissioners will check the said venues prior to the restart, and MFL will distribute the standard operating procedure (SOP) for handling matches to all teams, he said.
Meanwhile, Ab Ghani said all M-League teams were allowed to hold friendly matches behind closed doors at stadiums registered with MITI starting Aug 2.
“The stadium must undergo the decontamination and disinfection process before the match is held and it must be played without any spectators. Only officers and players of the teams who are registered and have undergone swab tests are allowed to be at the stadium,” he explained.
In the meantime, he said MFL had decided to stick with the previous decision to hold only half the number of league matches this season.
The Malaysia Cup campaign, which is scheduled to begin on Oct 17, will also not have a group stage competition, with the 16 qualified teams instead set to play a knockout match to head to the next round.
A draw will take place to determine the first round match-ups and home advantage for the 16 teams comprising top-eleven Super League teams and five best Premier League sides (except feeder teams) eligible to feature in the competition.