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No Malaysia centralised camp, friendly match amidst coronavirus outbreak

09:37 GMT+3 13/03/2020
Syafiq Ahmad, Mohamadou Sumareh, Brendan Gan, Malaysia v Thailand, 2022 World Cup qualifier, 14 Nov 2019
World Cup Asian qualification matches scheduled for March and June had been postponed, including three that involve Malaysia, now second in Group G.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

On Friday, the Malaysian FA (FAM) and Malaysian competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL) jointly announced the suspension of all domestic senior and junior competitions in the country after this weekend, due to the global outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

The two organisations, both headed by Datuk Hamidin Amin, decided that matches that had been scheduled for this weekend will be allowed to proceed, but will take place behind closed doors.

The matches affected by the decision are those of Super League, Premier League, M3, M4, FA Cup, Youth Cup and Premier Futsal League.

Hamidin was quoted as saying on the FAM website that the decision is a tough one, but one that was taken for the good of the fans.

"It is a tough decision, but it is the best option for the sake of the players, officials, fans and the industry as a whole."

He also added that despite the postponement of World Cup qualification matches that had been scheduled for March, the Malaysia national team will not be convening for centralised camp or taking part in friendly matches.

"We had initially thought of slotting domestic competition matchdays into the vacated international match windows. But we decided against it in the end as Covid-19 is a global pandemic, and we have to take measures that benefit everyone."

According to the New Straits Times , up until March 12, Thursday, 78 cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in the country. However, no footballers, coaches or team officials in the country have been reported to test positive so far.

So far, Malaysia and Thailand are the only two countries that have suspended its domestic competitions in Southeast Asia, but Iran, South Korea and Japan are among the Asian countries that have done so. In Europe, several Champions League and Europa League fixtures have been postponed, but La Liga, Eredivisie, Austrian Bundesliga and Serie A are taking no chances.

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