BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
M-League organiser Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) on Saturday confirmed the inception of the Malaysian domestic football pyramid fifth tier, dubbed the M5, with the incorporation of 14 amateur leagues throughout the country beginning this year.
The announcement was made on Saturday following the agreement signing ceremony between FMLLP and the amateur league organisers that was held in Johor Bahru.
In the press release provided by FMLLP, it is revealed that 10 of the leagues are run privately, while the remaining four are managed by state football associations. Nine of the leagues are held in the Klang Valley area, two in Terengganu, and one each in Johor, Melaka and Pahang.
After the 2018 season concluded, all 14 winners of the leagues will be automatically promoted to tier four (M4), which will be contested for the first time ever in the 2019 season.
The Malaysian football pyramid are currently composed of only three tiers; the Malaysia Super League, the Malaysia Premier League and the FAM Cup.
FMLLP has also outlined a 10-year plan for the two tiers, such as requiring certified coaches, youth academies and financial sponsors.
In the press release, FMLP CEO explained the reasoning behind the inception of tiers four and five;
"We want to chart a path for Malaysian social and state leagues. Our 10-year plan will promote the involvement of amateur players and improve their performance.
"We also aim to have the teams win promotion to the fourth tier, FAM Cup, the Premier League and the Super League."
The 14 amateur leagues which make up the 2018 tier five competition (M5) are:
1) Klang Valley League (private, 14 teams)
2) Kuala Lumpur FA League Division 1 (Kuala Lumpur FA, 15 teams)
3) South Selangor League (private, 12 teams)
4) Melaka FA Division 1 (Melaka FA, 12 teams)
5) DD Social League (private, 16 teams)
6) Puchong Community League (private, 20 teams)
7) Shah Alam League (private, 16 teams)
8) Subang Football League (private, 16 teams)
9) Sunarize Community League (private, 16 teams)
10) Pahang Division 1 (Pahang FA, 11 teams)
11) Sultan's Cup (Johor FA, 10 teams)
12) Terengganu FA League (Terengganu FA, 10 teams)
13) Terengganu Amateur League (private, 10 teams)
14) Selangor Social Premier League (private, 16 teams)