Luqman has returned to training following injury
Teenage Malaysian star Luqman Hakim has apparently returned to training following his earlier injury, according to the New Straits Times.
In October, the 18-year old became the first Malaysian footballer to play in a top European league, when he came on as a second half substitution for KV Kortrijk in their 3-1 defeat to RSC Anderlecht.
He unfortunately picked up a torn hamstring injury in his debut, which required him to be sidelined for a short while.
Luqman however has recovered and been in training with the Belgian side's first team for almost two weeks, revealed Prisheela Prakas and other Malaysian embassy in Belgium staff, after they visited the youngster and the club earlier this week.
"We are very happy to see Luqman making progress. He is back and ready to play again. Even Matthias (club director Matthias Leterme) is happy with Luqman's recovery. The embassy is always there for him if Luqman needs any help.
"We are happy to be able to visit Luqman, for the first time at the club. We would like to thank KVK for welcoming us," said Prisheela.
Luqman expressed his appreciation for the visit.
I thank the Malaysian Embassy people for coming to see me. I am very honoured. They have helped me a lot after I came to Belgium.
"I feel I have recovered from my injury and I look forward to playing for the team."
Former Melaka president expected to return
The Melaka FA is expected to see the return of a former president, in its 65th congress that will be held on Sunday.
According to Berita Harian, its current president and state chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali is expected to step down from the post in order to make way for a former FA president and chief minister; Datuk Seri Idris Haron.
Its deputy president Datuk Wira Yusoff Mahadi meanwhile is expected to retain his post uncontested.
"This support will galvanise me to work harder to take the association forward. I am confident that our 80 members will make the right decision on the four vice president posts and eight executive committee seats," said the Malaysian FA deputy president.
No visiting fans for now
Although the Malaysian Football League (MFL) will be pushing for small numbers of fans to be allowed to attend Malaysian league matches next season, it recently rectified that only the home team supporters will be let in at the start.
The National Security Council (NSC) later announced that 10 per cent of a stadium capacity or a maximum of 4,000 spectators will be allowed in next year, in areas not affected by Covid-19.
According to the New Straits Times, MFL will suggest to the authorities that only home team supporters can be let into matches.
"Under our proposal, the home team will have to enforce a strict SOP, including temperature checks, on everyone who enters venues.
"For example, if the venue can take in 4,000 fans, they will be separated into eight groups of 500 spectators each. They will then enter into the venues through specific zones.
"The high-risk groups, including senior citizens and children under 12-years-old, will not be allowed to attend matches at venues. Fans must practice social distancing. Stadium seats will also be marked.
"Everyone will have to put on a face mask, and stadium toilets will be closed during half-time to prevent overcrowding. Fans, however, can use the toilets during the match," said MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan.
KAFA denies Kelantan's corruption insinuations
The Kelantan FA (KAFA) has denied that its members are involved in corruption involving Kelantan FC.
The Premier League team that was recently bought over by businessman Norizam Tukiman from the association has issued vague, unnamed accusations of corruption on its social media since the start of the week.
"The KAFA exco has met today to discuss the insinuations that involve KAFA members. We vehemently deny that any of our exco members are involved in the matter, and we deny knowing the individuals.
"We have met with our attorneys and may take legal action against those who made the accusations on social media," said association media chairman Datuk Shamin Fahmin Hassan to Harian Metro.
FAM rejects three clubs' appeals
The Malaysian FA (FAM) has rejected Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang's appeals to allow unlicensed coaches to lead them in the Super League next season.
Super League teams are required to be led by a head coach who has a valid AFC pro coaching licence, something that newly-promoted Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang lack at the moment. Sabah meanwhile had to sideline Julius Ating when they were promoted at the start of the 2020 season, and have been trying to reinstate him. The three teams appealed for an exemption with the reasoning that the course for the badges could not be held in Malaysia this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam told Stadium Astro that their appeals have been rejected.
"What I can say is that the First Instance committee has rejected all appeals on the grounds contained in the FAM first instance regulations.
"All the policies and principles are there and we cannot renege on them. We also cannot use the pandemic as an excuse; if we do, we have to justify other matters to other parties."
Terengganu want to start afresh
Despite the fact that they will feature in the AFC Cup next year, Terengganu FC boss Nafuzi Zain has taken the bold step of releasing three of their foreign players ahead of the new season.
According to The Star, they have not extended the contracts of midfielder Lee Tuck, winger Faris Ramli and forward Dominique Da Sylva.
“The imports did an excellent job. They helped us finish third and took us to the AFC Cup. Our skipper Tuck, he has been excellent and whoever gets him, are very lucky. His attitude has and will always be first class but Terengganu have to keep on moving forward, ” he said.
The Turtles will now look for new foreign players who can better suit Nafuzi's attacking football, by combining with the outfit's younger players.
“For next season, there’ll be new imports. We have some candidates in mind, players with great technique who can fit with my style. I want them to gel with our local boys, especially the young ones.
“We are a side that enjoy our football and size does not matter. That’s why you see lots of diminutive players in my side. They’re are not big but very confident with the ball.
“You also have to understand that we are running the team on a budget. And we must start putting faith in the youngsters."
Melaka taking own time preparing for 2021
While many Malaysian league teams have not wasted time in securing their 2021 signings and appointments, Melaka United are taking it slow.
According to Sinar Harian, the Mousedeer's board will only decide on head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan's future next week.
"The meeting will deliberate upon coaches and staff appointments. Only when we have made the decision on the head coach will we discuss the players' contracts," said club deputy president Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi.
Tuck set to qualify for naturalisation despite departure from Terengganu
English midfielder Lee Tuck has told Berita Harian that he plans to remain in Malaysia, after his contract is not renewed by Terengganu FC after three years.
"I'm sad to be leaving after three years of good relationships with the club and fans. I do want to stay but apparently I'm not part of their plans in 2021. [Head coach] Nafuzi Zain is trying something new and I have to accept it and move on. I pray for their success, and thank you to everyone.
"I will continue playing here. I want to sign for another Super League side and win trophies with them," he told Berita Harian.
In the meantime, his intention of remaining in Malaysia, in what will be his fifth year here, will take him closer to the Malaysia national team eligibility as a naturalised player.
The Malaysian FA naturalisation committee chairman Datuk Yusoff Mahadi confirmed to the publication that he and a number of other foreign players in Malaysia are currently on the association's radar.
"Apart from Tuck, a number of other foreign players will also have been here for five years; such as the one at Perak (Leandro Dos Santos) and the JDT player (Gonzalo Cabrera). But it also depends on other factors such as their age and performance."
Selangor looking to sign European imports
Selangor are interested in signing European players to fill their foreign players slot in 2021, according to deputy president Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar.
They recently appointed German trainer Karsten Neitzel as head coach.
"I can't say whether these players are from big or small clubs, because even second tier German clubs are renowned. They are not necessarily from German either, because Austrian and Swiss players speak German as well
“Our search is for a central defender, a midfielder and a forward. We're in discussions with European and Asian clubs, and everything is in the final stages of discussion. But nothing has been confirmed yet," said Shahril to Utusan Malaysia.
Kelantan to appoint Italian head coach
Premier League side Kelantan will be seeking Italian expertise in their rebuilding season next year, revealed club owner Norizam Tukiman to Sinar Harian.
"The coach is agreeable to our offer, and is ready to introduce a new style of play.
"I am also in the midst of finalising the list of assistants head coaches," said the businessman.
The club have parted ways with former head coach Yusri Che Lah and his assistants.
Hafizul to stay at Perak
Despite rumours linking him with other clubs, Malaysia goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim will remain at Perak, claimed club deputy president Datuk Adly Shah Ahmad Tah.
Hafizul has signed a contract extension with us just days ago, so it would be impossible for him to join another club," he told Utusan Malaysia.
He also rubbished talks of mass exodus from the club.
"These players are still under contract with us, so they will not be leaving."
Irfan in talks with Negeri Sembilan
Experienced head coach Irfan Bakti has revealed to Utusan Malaysia that he is in talks to lead Negeri Sembilan next season.
"I have applied for the now vacant post and met with the club board in Seremban yesterday (Saturday). The discussion was a positive one, but the decision is in their hand.
"I am interested in coaching the club because they have not had problems with their players even though their budget isn't big. In fact I was almost appointed by them three years ago, but it did not work out due to a few reasons."
FAM denies pulling out of World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers or the AFF Suzuki Cup
It was a story that was seemingly loosely based on this NST report where Stuart Ramalingam, the general-secretary of Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) expressed his concern over the cancellation of the Malaysia Cup as well as barring Johor Darul Ta'zim from flying out to Qatar to compete in the AFC Champions League.
How that transpired to FAM or Ramalingam suggesting that Malaysia could pull out of the World Cup qualification as well as the AFF Championship is something only SMM Sport and subsequently Cambodia Football News will know.
It did however led to Ramalingam releasing a short but succinct statement to the Malaysian media stating that - "The media report is untrue. We at FAM does not have any plans to pull-out from any of the mentioned competitions."
Singapore's Shakir leaves Kedah
Singapore defender Shakir Hamzah has confirmed to Stadium Astro that he will be departing Kedah.
"Yes I am leaving Kedah after two seasons, and I will be at another team afterwards. It has been a memorable time and I am sad, but I am also grateful."
The 28-year old player however declined to say whether his new club is still a Malaysian one.
Kuala Lumpur going with foreign head coach
Despite earlier reports that they were attempting to seek permission for head coach Nidzam Adzha to continue leading the team in the Super League in 2021, Kuala Lumpur have finally decided to appoint a new boss instead.
Team manager Hamidi Abu Bakar told Harian Metro that they are hiring a new foreign head coach.
"What is sure that it will not be a local coach because we want changes, hence why it will be a foreign head coach.
"He is someone renowned for his time in Southeast Asia, and we hope that he will lead us to success."
Hamidi also denied that they are signing former JDT midfielder Junior Eldstal, who has been playing in the English lower tiers since leaving the Malaysian champions in late 2018.
Selangor target unknown new foreign players
Amidst the transfer rumours involving them, Selangor deputy president Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar has revealed their transfer direction in preparation for the 2021 season.
The Red Giants will only sign new foreign players that have not played in Malaysia previously, as he told Harian Metro.
"[New] foreign players that we will sign will be those who have not played in the Malaysian league, perhaps those from Europe."
Malaysia's World Cup qualifier to resume in 4 months
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) announced that the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualification will resume next year during the international calendar in March 2021 with June 2021 scheduled to be when the current group stage can be completed.
For Tan Cheng Hoe and Malaysia, that would mean matches against United Arab Emirates and Vietnam in March, followed by the away match against Thailand in June. Prior to the halt of proceedings, Malaysia are sitting in second place in Group G, two points behind leaders Vietnam.
Malaysian teen joins fifth-tier French side
17-year old Malaysian player Aqil Arazi Aziz has joined Championnat National 3 club AS Cannes, according to Twitter account Harimau Abroad.
He formerly trained at England's Brooke House College Football Academy.
Cannes are currently in the third place in Group D of the French fifth division.
Aqil Arazi Aziz has joined AS Cannes in the French fifth division. The 17-year-old was previously at Brooke House College Football Academy in England. pic.twitter.com/rDBpXDB8Dn— Harimau Abroad🐯🇲🇾✈️ (@harimau_abroad) November 1, 2020
Felda, UKM expulsion to stand
Despite earlier reports that Felda United and UKM FC have appealed against the Malaysian FA's (FAM) decision to eject them from Malaysia's top two tiers, the association has stated that the decision will stand.
The two outfits have been kicked out due to their failure to prove financial support in order to continue competing in 2021.
FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam told Stadium Astro that no additional time will be given for the two clubs to offer financial proof.
"The clubs have been given ample time to furnish the necessary documents and they had not asked for more time. The decision [by FAM] is final for the time being."
Malaysia Cup round 1 dates and venues announced
The dates and venues of round one of the Malaysia Cup have been announced by the Malaysian Football League (MFL), with attention mostly on the four teams that are based in the Klang Valley area of the country, which is currently under a pandemic lockdown.
Petaling Jaya City have been drawn as the away team against Terengganu FC, and as such the game will be played at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium on Saturday, November 7.
UiTM FC, who will host Kelantan on Sunday, November 8, will hold the match at the Manjung Municipal Council Stadium, Perak.
On the same day, Selangor, who have been drawn as the home team against Melaka United will be playing at Melaka's home ground the Hang Jebat Stadium.
Kuala Lumpur meanwhile have received a first round bye as Sabah are not taking part in this year's competition due to travel restrictions.
The remainder of the fixtures are as follows:
Pulau Pinang v Felda United, JDT v Kuching FA, Kedah v Pahang (Friday)
Perak v Kelantan United (Saturday)
This year's Malaysia Cup has undergone a format change due to Covid-19, with the competition played as a single-legged, straight knockout tournament.
Felda seek to appeal against ejection
Super League outfit Felda United are still attempting to convince the Malaysian FA (FAM) to allow them to continue competing in the top two tiers of Malaysia, despite FAM's earlier decision to eject them and UKM FC. The association handed the decision after it found that the two clubs have failed to prove that they have adequate financial backing to continue taking part in the Malaysian league.
"The documents we provided were not proof enough, so we implore FAM to consider our appeal so that we may furnish more supporting documents from potential sponsors and funders," said club director Afizal Abu Othman to Sinar Harian.
FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam meanwhile told Berita Harian that a special committee will be formed to decide on Felda and UKM's appeals.
"After the decision (expulsion) was made, both clubs submitted appeals, asking for time to submit more documents. Our secretariat will take the appeals to the committee, which will then decide whether to accept or reject them."
Pahang's Dollah confident of capturing Malaysia Cup trophy
Pahang boss Dollah Salleh does not find it impossible for his charges to capture the Malaysia Cup again, despite having been drawn against last-year's finalists Kedah in the first round.
"Pahang have actually been playing well despite several unfavourable results recently, as well as player injuries.
"We will bounce back in the the Malaysia Cup and I aim to lift the trophy," said Dollah to Sinar Harian.
Overdue player salaries settled by Kedah
Kedah president Sanusi Md Nor was quoted as saying by Berita Harian that the Super League outfit have settled the remainder of the overdue wages it owes players and staff.
"God willing, Kedah will put in a better performance, after all the overdue wage balance of RM3.8 million has been paid yesterday (Saturday).
"Judging from the team's recent performance and spirit, and the head coach's guidance, Kedah will be able to defeat Pahang [in Malaysia Cup first round]."
Sumareh asks for peace of mind
Former Pahang forward Mohamadou Sumareh has asked that his family be left alone amidst the ongoing transfer dispute between his current club, Thai League 1 side Police Tero and former team, Pahang.
After he left the Elephants to join the Thai club during the pandemic lockdown, claiming that the former failed to pay his wage in full, Pahang's disciplinary committee recently found him 'guilty' of breaching their regulations and 'banned' him from competing.
"I'm sick and tired of all this drama. I thought by moving to Thailand, it would ease the situation. But it's still following me. I've never been in the news for controversial issues all my years living in Malaysia. This is the first time this is happening to me. It is really affecting me. I would really appreciate if I am left in peace to focus on football.
"I'm begging everyone to just let this matter go to rest... it's not fair to my siblings who are still attending school in Malaysia. They ask what's going on, and their friends too. They are too young to understand. I want to just focus on football, I don't want to be affected by all this.
"So help me and stop writing about these issues because it can really affect me, mentally. What if you were in my shoes and everyday you have to hear your name being linked to some bad press? It's not a good feeling and I am just begging for it to stop," said the Gambian-born Malaysia forward to the New Straits Times.
The Malaysian FA meanwhile has decided to let the matter be resolved by FIFA, as the permission for Sumareh to move to Tero was provided by the world football body.
Selangor courting trouble with interest in Korea DPR star
Selangor are interested in Korea DPR forward Han Kwang-song according to Harian Metro, but it seems that the Red Giants are not aware of the geopolitical repercussions of making such a signing.
The 22-year old is currently at Qatari club Al-Duhail, having had stints in Italy. He had starred for them since joining in January this year including in the AFC Champions League, but has not played for them since the 2020/21 season kicked off in September.
According to the report, Kwang-song has been sidelined due to the United Nations' (UN) ban on hiring employees from the hermit kingdom due to human rights' concerns.
Selangor deputy president Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar admitted that the club have been looking at players from DPR Korea and Korea Republic, but denied having finalised any foreign signings. "For the time being we have not signed any foreigners for next season, but we have been in contact with players from these two countries."
Promotional club coaches hoping for AFC reprieve
Despite having successfully guided their respective teams to Super League promotion, there is a chance that Pulau Pinang boss Manzoor Azwira and Kuala Lumpur head coach Nidzam Adzha will not be able to continue leading them next season.
The pair do not possess the necessary Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Pro A licence, with one reason for this being the halt on coaching courses this year, which has been caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
While one current option is for them to stay on as assistant coach with their clubs appointing another head coach with the proper badges, it seems that AFC is not ruling out giving them an exemption.
As told by AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul John to Sinar Harian, there already are leeways that the organisation can provide to coaches who meet the criteria.
"Any coach who does not possess the Pro A licence can apply for an exemption from the AFC. We will consider the circumstances; maybe the coach has experience that's equivalent to the Pro-Diploma Licence even if he doesn't have the pro licence.
"This comes under the club licencing matter that we call Recognition of Coaching Competence. We will assess his coaching experience, his time leading top teams. If FAM (Malaysian FA) judges the coach to possess experience that's equivalent to the Pro-Diploma Licence, it will let the AFC make the final decision. But this is only a temporary permission because the coach will still have to go for his Pro A."
Sabah's cup preparations hampered by MCO
Sabah's preparations for the Malaysia Cup have been disrupted by the Covid-19 lockdown currently enforced in the state of Sabah.
The Rhinos currently have one Super League match left to play, at home to UiTM FC on October 31 with top-tier safety already secured, as well as the post-season competition just one week after that.
But the movement control order in the state has made conducting training impossible, according to head coach Kuniawan Dwi Yulianto.
"We are having problems as training is not permitted by the state government due to pandemic SOPs. Our players have been training individually."
Felda to remain and rebrand
Felda United are set to remain in the Malaysian League, despite earlier reports that they will fold after the current season ends.
Its former general secretary and current holding company official Afizal Abu Othman told Berita Harian that the Fighters will be taken over by a new owner, and rebranded.
"We cannot reveal the new owner and investors yet. But we will reveal them after our privatisation documents are verified by the Malaysian FA (FAM).
"...FAM only wants to know who our funders will be after the withdrawal of the former owner."
He however refuted the rumours that they will be rebranded as Rakyat United.
Malaysians abroad: No game time for four, including Safawi at Portimonense
Malaysia temporarily held its collective breath last Saturday when Portimonense were due to play Maritomo in anticipation of seeing Safawi Rasid feature in the match but after it was not to me. An Under-23 match was all the Johor Darul Ta'zim loanee got last week and now attention turns towards the Tondela match on 24 October.
Over in Thailand, none of Dominic Tan, Mohamadou Sumareh nor Noshahrul Idlan Talaha managed to get a single minute of action. Sumareh continues to build his fitness and wasn't part of the match day squad unlike his two compatriots.
But Dominic and Noshahrul wasn't called upon by their respective coaches as Police Tero 2-2 with Prachuap FC and it was the same scoreline for BG Pathum United against Samut Prakan. The results left BG Pathum sitting pretty at the top of the Thai League 1 standings with Police Tero in 8th spot.
Kedah wary of possible scam attempts in search for investors
Kedah are aware of the need to protect the club while they search for investors and stakeholders as a private entity, a source close to the club told Harian Metro.
According to the story, its president Sanusi Md Nor was pictured with an individual with a dubious reputation in their final league match against Perak last week, which alarmed the Red Eagles fans.
"We will always be vigilant in order to avoid being involved with scammers. We will not simply get in bed with any interested parties without doing our due diligence and assessing their business records first.
"We will also consult with other parties such as the Malaysian FA in order to identify risks that may end up tarnishing the name and honour of Kedah.
"We are grateful for the loyalty and support that have been given by those who love football in the state of Kedah," said the source.
Call for halt on relegation grows louder
More and more parties have thrown their support for a stop on relegation in this season's Super League.
It had been revealed one week earlier that a number of teams have proposed that no team be relegated from the top tier this season, due to the truncated league competition.
Throughout the week, more have voiced their support for the proposal.
"Relegation would not be fair because the league is not complete this season. It's not played home and away," said Pahang manager Mohamed Suffian Awang to Sinar Harian.
AFC general secretary Datuk Windsor Paul John too told the New Straits Times that it will allow such a decision, should it be decided by MFL.
"For the AFC, we respect the decisions taken by the FAM and MFL aside from the matters that have been discussed with all parties concerned, representing competing teams."
For the time being, MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan only said that the decision will be discussed in a board meeting in the coming week.
Joy for Akira Nishino and Park Hang-seo, none for Cheng Hoe
Thailand and Nishino have already completed a training camp for the national team while Vietnam and Park will be doing theirs in the middle of November.
Both sides are competing against Malaysia in Group G of the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifications. The Covid-19 global pandemic has wrecked the scheduling with no teams being able to play any competitive match this year.
As it stands, there's no planning for Malaysia to hold the same training camp and that could be an opportunity lost for Tan Cheng Hoe, who has not got together with his squad since the last match, which was a 2-0 over Indonesia on 19 November 2019.
With the AFF Championship (AFF Suzuki Cup) planned to be played in April of 2021, Cheng Hoe could be forced to take an unfamiliar looking side into the tournament because of club commitments, this could also have been a chance to look at those players on the fringes of national team who could make that squad.
Shahrel Fikri garners interest from India
Malaysia and Perak striker Shahrel Fikri has told Berita Harian that he has received interest from multiple places, as his contract with the Bos Gaurus nears the end later this year.
He claimed to have also received an offer from an Indian Super League, although he admitted to not being interested in playing there.
"I just want to concentrate on the Malaysia Cup for now. I have had interest from Malaysian and foreign clubs, but from early on I said I'm not interested in going there (India)," said the 25-year old forward.
Norshahrul to leave BG Pathum
Malaysia forward Norshahrul Idlan Talaha has revealed to The Star that he will not extend his stay at Thai League 1 club BG Pathum United beyond this season.
"My contract will end in December and I don’t think I will extend my stay although I love it here.
“I’ve to head home as I have to settle some things but until then, I will fight to be in the first eleven," said the one-time AFF Championship winner.
Curiously enough, he made the revelation in an interview, in which he also encouraged other Malaysian players to venture abroad, especially in the neighbouring Thailand.
Kuala Lumpur, UiTM speak against delayed fixtures' date change
The league fixture changes announced by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Tuesday have not been accepted well by two teams involved in them.
Due to Covid-19 concerns, the Super League match between Sabah and UiTM FC and Premier League clash between Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Kuching FA that had initially been scheduled for last weekend had to be postponed, with MFL on Tuesday announcing that the matches will be held on October 31 instead. The post-season competition of Malaysia Cup meanwhile will kick off on November 6.
However, UiTM and KL are two of the teams that have been affected by the Malaysian government's recent decision to place the Klang Valley area, where UiTM and Kuala Lumpur are based, under a partial pandemic lockdown from October 14 to 27, effectively prohibiting them from holding daily training during this period.
KL secretary-general Nokman Mustaffa told Sinar Harian that the new date will not allow them sufficient preparation.
"We take seriously what has been decided by MFL. The final league match at home is anticipated by our players after our success in having secured promotion to the 2021 top tier.
"Their fitness will go down if they miss even one day of training, much less for two weeks. I hope MFL will look into the matter again. We hope that the Malaysian FA and MFL will allow KL players to continue training during the lockdown period."
"This will not be fair to Klang Valley-based teams, when teams based outside the area can continue training as usual," said UiTM secretary-general Mustaza Ahmad.
New date announced for delayed fixtures
The Malaysian Football League (MFL) has announced the new date of two Malaysian league fixtures that have been delayed.
The recent increase in Covid-19 cases in East Malaysia has seen two matches involving East Malaysian clubs postponed due to safety concerns. The Sabah v UiTM FC had originally been scheduled for last weekend, with both teams having already secured top-tier safety.
The Premier League encounter between Kuala Lumpur and Kuching FA had also been scheduled for last weekend, with the hosts having already secured promotion, and the visitors having already secured safety and Malaysia Cup qualification.
According to MFL, the two matches will be held on October 31 later this month.
Malaysia Cup postponed due to Klang Valley MCO
Due to the establishment of conditional movement control order (EMCO) in the Klang Valley area of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) has decided to postpone the start of the 2020 Malaysia Cup, it announced on Monday.
The area has been placed under EMCO from October 14 to October 27, which includes the ban of travel into and out of it, affecting four teams based in the area that have qualified for the post-season tournament; Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya City and UiTM FC.
The delay in the start of the cup, whose format has been changed to a full knockout competition this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will see the first round matches (involving 16 teams) played on November 6, 7 and 8. The quarter-finals will be played on November 12 and 13, the semis on November 17, and the final match on November 22.
Kelantan to appoint new head coach
Having sealed their place in the 2020 Malaysia Cup, the Red Warriors will now look for a new head coach, revealed owner Norizam Tukiman to Utusan Malaysia.
He however added that current boss Yusri Che Lah will still be retained, as assistant head coach.
"We'll appoint a new coach who will work alongside Yusri, which is important in order to improve upon the coaching staff.
"I haven't decided whether it will be a Malaysian or foreign coach, it will be announced when it is done."
Super League teams want halt on relegation this season
With just one matchday remaining in this season's Malaysia Super League, a plan was revealed by the New Straits Times, to halt relegation from this season's top tier.
As part of the plan, the two Malaysia Premier League teams that have won promotion; Pulau Pinang and Kuala Lumpur will still go up in 2021, but no Super League team will replace them, taking the number of teams in the top tier from 12 to 14.
The plan was mooted by confirmed last-place finisher PDRM, who argued that this season's competition, which has been truncated from 22 rounds to just 11 due to the pandemic, does not truly reflect the clubs' strengths.
Furthermore, the suggestion has been backed by nine other Super League teams, although league organiser Malaysian Football League has yet to respond to it.
Felda going for last-gasp reprieve
Despite the earlier announcement by Federal Land Development Authority that they are withdrawing Felda United from the Malaysian league and dissolving the outfit at the end of the season, the club's former board are still trying to rescue the Fighters.
According to the New Straits Times, tts former secretary-general Afizal Abu Othman, who has been sacked along with other members of the club management, is trying to obtain control of the club, all the while finding financial backers.
"We have not informed the players and coaches of anything yet because they are still under Felda United until November. It also depends on the new owners,"
"Personally, I want to save all the Felda-heritage trainees because they are young, new to football.
"Football is their future, their income. Where will they go? It involves 130 of them from the President's Cup right up to the first team."
He added that they have until October 19 to seal all possible deals, and that they will not be allowed to retain the Felda name.
Kelantan teams bag last two Malaysia Cup spots
The result of the Malaysia Premier League final matchday saw two Kelantan-based teams winning the last two remaining 2020 Malaysia Cup spots.
Kelantan edged JDT II 1-0 away, while Kelantan United came from behind to beat Selangor 2 2-1 at home, to secure their places as one of the top five non-reserve team outfits in the second tier.
The Kuala Lumpur vs Kuching encounter had to be postponed due to Covid-19 concerns, but both teams too have secured their places in the Malaysia Cup.
In the meantime, the 11 Super League teams to qualify for the cup had also been confirmed earlier.
From Pahang, to Sri Pahang FC
Although their privatisation process began significantly much later than most Malaysian teams this season, Pahang have reportedly met the September 30 deadline set by the Malaysian FA (FAM).
It was revealed by Utusan Malaysia that the Elephants will next season be known as Sri Pahang FC, in a brief interview with team manager Datuk Mohammed Suffian Awang.
UKM, Felda's privatisation submissions hit last-minute snag
While all 24 Malaysian league clubs (including the four feeder teams) have submitted their privatisation documentations in time for the September 30 deadline, two clubs have hit a snag, reported Berita Harian.
According to Malaysian FA's (FAM) professional football committee head Firdaus Mohamed, UKM FC and Felda United have not submitted the approval to use the names of the respective organisations that they represent.
Premier League side UKM represent public tertiary education institution the National University of Malaysia, while relegation-threatened Super League outfit Felda United are nominally owned by the Federal Land Development Authority.
Firdaus was quoted as saying that the two clubs need the appoval of the organisations that they represent, in order to continue using their respective names.
The final decisions on the documentation submissions by all clubs have not been announced yet, with FAM scheduling a press conference on the matter on the coming Monday, October 5.
Meanwhile, FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam reminded observers that the current stage of club privatisation/separation process is only its first stage, with the second stage set to take place after the 2020 season ends.
"There are a number of privatisation models adopted through the current process, and one thing we're looking at is the separation from FA to FC. Some clubs are not owned 100 per cent because the FA is still involved in the FC.
"In the first stage we want to see FA separated from the FC because it involves matters of management as well, not just documentation," he told Sinar Harian.
Kedah vs Melaka clash postponed
The Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Wednesday, September 30 announced the postponement of the Malaysia Super League clash between Kedah and Melaka United, initially scheduled for October 2, to Sunday, October 4.
The decision was taken due to a request by the Mousedeer, who have had to undergo Covid-19 quarantine upon their return from Sabah for their match against Sabah last Sunday.
"I was informed by Melaka that the team has been undergoing quarantine in a hotel in the Melaka City for three days, while they have conducted two swab tests, on September 27 and 29. The result for the September 29 test will be announced tomorrow (Thursday), following which Melaka will be allowed to continue training
"...MFL has agreed to move the match that will take place at the Darul Aman Stadium to Sunday. The result has also been agreed by Kedah, who displayed the spirit of sportsmanship," said MFL CEO Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan.
Sumareh finally takes flight
Malaysian international Mohamadou Sumareh has landed in Bangkok to join up with Police Tero FC in the Thai League 1 but he will first have to observe a 14-day quarantine before being able to link up with his new team.
Cutting his contract with Pahang midway through the 2020 Malaysia Super League season citing no payment of salary, this will be the first time that Sumareh will be playing his club football outside of Malaysia.
He will be teaming up with his international colleague in Dominic Tan, who recently made into the starting line-up in the last two matches for Police Tero. Prachuap away on 17 October looks the earliest that Sumareh will be able to feature, provided he's fit enough to.
FA to FC, FAM confirms all teams have done their submission
End of September which is today is the dealined for all teams in the Super League and Premier League to submit their documentations for the process change from a team under the Football Association (FA) to a Football Club.
On 23 September, Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) revealed that only 12 teams have completed the separation and they were Johor Darul Ta'zim, Sarawak United FC, Petaling Jaya City FC, Armed Forces FC, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan United FC, Melaka, Terengganu FC, Kuching FA, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and Perak.
Now a week later, it looks like the rest have followed suit.
2020 women's competition a no-go
The 2020 edition of the top women's competition of the country, the Tun Sharifah Rodziah Cup has been cancelled, announced the Malaysian FA (FAM) on Monday.
In a press statement issued, the FAM women's football committee chairperson Dato' Suraya Yaacob explained that the decision was taken due to the resurgence of new Covid-19 cases throughout the country at the moment.
"This year's competition had been scheduled to be played this November, but this plan will not materialise due to the current situation regarding the pandemic...which has made it difficult for the FAM to prepare for the tournament.
"I'm sure that female players and women's football activists are disappointed with this development after waiting long for the resumption of women's football, and so am I.
"...Through the additional budget provided by FIFA for women's football as well as FAM's thorough planning for 2021, I am optimistic that women's football can return more actively next year."
Kedah to settle wage arrears by end of September
Kedah will complete the payment of wages that they currently owe their staff and players by September 30, reported Berita Harian.
The club currently owe wages for April, May and June, according to association president and Kedah state chief minister Sanusi Md Nor.
"We faced no problems paying their July, August and September wages. Their April, May and June salaries will be settled by September 30."
Premier League matchday nine summary
Six Malaysian second tier matches were held over the weekend, with the final promotional place confirmed, with two rounds to go. League leaders Pulau Pinang, who had already confirmed their promotion to the top tier in 2021, secured their place at the top with a 2-1 win over UKM FC. Hot on their tail is Kuala Lumpur, who booked the last remaining promotional spot with a 5-4 win over Selangor 2 in a pulsating encounter at home.
Kuching FA meanwhile continued their resurgence with a 4-2 win over Negeri Sembilan away from home, making it three wins in a row for the team that had been winless prior to the streak.
No team will be relegated from the second tier this season, as the 2020 tiers three and lower have been abandoned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Super League matchday nine summary
Sabah lifted themselves out of the relegation zone, following their 3-2 round nine Super League win against Melaka United at home on Sunday.
Two days earlier, league leaders JDT had their seventh consecutive league title confirmation delayed, when they were held to a 2-2 draw away to PJ City. Kedah meanwhile slipped to third following their 2-1 defeat to struggling Pahang, allowing Perak to move up to second place.
Super League matchday 9 results
Here are the results for Super League matchday 9 encounters held on Friday and Saturday.
The remaining match, between Sabah and Melaka United, will be played on Sunday evening.
Mid-year action for postponed 2020 AFF Championship
The tournament was supposed to be played starting November this year but was postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, has now been confirmed to be played from 11 April to 8 May of 2021, as announced by Asean Football Federation (AFF) today.
AFF retains that the format will remained unchanged, meaning to say it will still be home and away format from the group stage to the final, but only if the respective restrictions in those affected countries allow for it.
The AFF also hopes that the announcement of the 2021 tournament dates will provide some clarity in planning for our commercial partners, including sponsors and media broadcasters, at a time of uncertainty.
"AFF and our Member Associations would like to express gratitude to all our fans, players, coaches, officials, media and other partners for their unwavering support and commitment despite these challenging times, and look forward to the AFF Suzuki Cup unifying the whole of South East Asia when we are able to come together again,” said Major General Sameth, the president of AFF in the statement.
But with the Malaysia Super League, AFC Champions League, AFC Cup as well as the remainder of the joints 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualification still to be played, it promises to be a packed calendar in 2021 for the players.
Goal understands that previously FAM has fought against this proposed date for the AFF Suzuki Cup but it would seem that the majority of the members within AFF did not have the same idea. The fixture congestion could yet prompt FAM to decide against sending the senior team but all that has yet to be decided.
Kedah vs Sabah venue moved to Kuala Lumpur
The Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Tuesday announced that the venue for the Kedah vs Sabah matchday eight encounter scheduled for this weekend has been moved, due to Covid-19 concerns.
The match had initially been scheduled to take place at the Darul Aman Stadium on September 19, but it has now been moved to the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium on September 21.
The decision was made after the district of Kota Setar, where Kedah are based, entered another lockdown from September 11 to 25 due to a spike in new coronavirus cases.
Khalid's golden boot bought by Sultan of Selangor
Former Perak and Malaysia striker Khalid Jamlus' infamous golden boot has now been purchased by the Sultan of Selangor; Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.
In an announcement made through the Selangor Royal Office's social media, it was reported that the 2002 Premier League (Malaysia's first tier at the time) golden boot won by Khalid will be placed in the Selangor Football Gallery Museum, which is run by Sultan Sharafuddin.
Khalid had earlier sparked controversy for wanting to auction off the award, in order to make ends meet for his family as he has not been employed for the past three years.
Pahang set to be without three foreign stars
Pahang's 2-1 win against PDRM in the Super League on Saturday, their first after four matches, was obtained with a high price.
Their foreign centre back Herold Goulon and forward Ivan Carlos were injured in the encounter, and are set to be sidelined for one or two weeks with groin injuries. On top of the pair, star striker Dickson Nwakaeme have already been on the crock list, and missed the PDRM clash.
"Hopefully their injuries are not serious. I have to prepare all possibilities if they are unavailable for the coming match.
"With our young players' commitment and determination, I hope they can improve further," said head coach Dollah Salleh as quoted by Berita Harian.
Kelantan United hand coaching staff gardening leave
Kelantan United on Tuesday announced that they have 'rested' Zahasmi Ismail and his assistants, Sazami Shafii and Zahariman Ghazali.
According to the club, Zahasmi has not turned up for training leading up to their next match, against Sarawak United this Friday, a decision which led to him and his assistants being removed from their posts.
The club, currently seventh in the standings on nine points, are also looking for a caretaker replacement for Zahasmi. They have lost their three most recent matches.
According to Vocket FC, the Kota Bharu-based side have failed to pay their players' wages for the past two and a half months.
De Roo to step down as FAM technical director
On Sunday, the Malaysian FA (FAM) technical director Peter De Roo made a surprise announcement that he is leaving FAM when his contract expires at the end of the year.
The Dutch man reportedly posted about his decision to leave on his social media account
“I say this with great pain in my heart because somehow I feel that I’m not ready to leave as it feels we are just getting started, ” he said.
"My time with FAM has been a great journey which I thoroughly enjoyed.
“I loved working with so many amazing people in Malaysian football and especially with the staff in my department. Thank you all for your love and support."
The 50-year old trainer had joined FAM back in 2017.
No official statement has been made by the association, but the New Straits Times published the rumour that he will be replaced by former Malaysia and Malaysia U-23 head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, who is currently FAM's head of youth department.
Malaysia Super League matchday 7 Friday encounter results
New owner Norizam outlines plans for Kelantan
Premier League side Kelantan's new owner Norizam Tukiman is a man of big dreams. Having secured the purchase of the team from the Kelantan FA last week for the combined price of RM6.8 million (USD1.6 million), he has set his sights on big things.
In an interview with sports channel Astro Arena, the stock trader and entrepreneur better known by the mononym Zamsaham outlined plans for the former Super League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup winner.
"I enjoy others' cynical responspe to my intention of raising the team's value on the stock market to RM1 billion. I'm not playing around, everything I say I will fulfill. Trust is the most expensive thing in business.
"I want to lease the MARDI training pitch used by the team at the moment for 30 years, with the purpose of establishing a training centre like the one owned by JDT, for the sake of the team's image and comfort.
"I also plan to cooperate with USM Kubang Kerian on matters of sports science."
Pahang threaten legal action against Sumareh
Although Mohamadou Sumareh has been announced as Police Tero's latest signing in Thai League 1, the club he had been at, Pahang are adamant that the Malaysia international is still contractually-bound to them.
Right after Tero's announcement, the New Straits Times published a brief piece on the Elephants' response to the Gambian-born attacker's departure.
"All I can say is Sumareh will face legal action soon as he is still contracted with Pahang," said Pahang manager Datuk Suffian Awang.
"Sumareh's decision to sign with the Thai club goes against his contract."
Sumareh had reportedly been absent from training at Pahang for a month before the Malaysian league resumed late last month, with the reason being that the players have not been paid for almost five months.
Clubs' failure to privatise will embarrass FAM
According to AFC secretary general Datuk Windsor John, the failure of Malaysian clubs to privatise in time for the 2021 season will embarrass the Malaysian FA (FAM).
A story by Stadium Astro quoted Windsor as saying that the confederation has given the association since 2017 to complete the privatisation push.
However, in a media briefing held last Friday, FAM revealed that three out of league outfits have yet to begin their privatisation process.
Furthermore, Malaysian teams will also face complications in their bid to play in continental competitions.
"If Malaysian league teams gail to adhere to the September 30 date, in converting their status from an FA to a FC (football club), it's the FAM who will be embarrassed.
"If they don't complete it, in 2021, FAM licencing will not be recognised by AFC. That's the outcome.
"What will happen is if this year's league champions want to play in AFC competitions, they will have to apply for a licence from AFC, and not through FAM. It's not good for FAM," said Windsor in a sports channel Astro Arena's television talk show.
AFC U-19 likely to be postponed
The 2020 AFC U-19 Championship will likely be postponed, said AFC secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul.
Speaking to Berita Harian, he said that the finals, which had been scheduled to take place in October this year in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, will be discussed, and the decision will be issued late this month or in September.
"For now, we are still observing the situation because Covid-19 has been affecting each country differently, including the host nation.
"The earliest a decision will be made is late this month, because it involves many aspects. But at the end of the day, the best decision will be made based on the need to safeguard everyone's health and safety," said the Malaysian.
Malaysia have been drawn in Group D of the finals, alongside Qatar, Yemen and Tajikistan.
WCQ matches in October and November 2020 postponed to 2021
Following extensive discussion within Asian Football Confederation (AFC), it has now been decided that the planned joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualification matches in the month of October and November will now be moved to 2021.
This comes as countries are still coming to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic and with different countries at different stages of their respective recovery, the situation isn't ideal where some countries have not even resumed matches.
The latest decision follows that of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) who have postponed the 2020 AFF Championship (Suzuki Cup) because of the same reasoning.
Royalty set to take ownership of privatised teams
Members of the Malaysian royalty are set to take ownership of Selangor and Pahang when they are privatised, revealed Harian Metro.
Malaysian league teams are currently undergoing the first steps of the privatisation process, as mandated by the Malaysian FA ahead of the 2021 season, and the teams are busy restructuring their ownership and management.
Selangor FA president and Selangor state Crown Prince Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin is expected to own shares in the company that is established to run the Red Giants, along with the FA and other investors, revealed the FA deputy president Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar.
The story also revealed that Super League side Pahang will be managed by a company that is owned by the Pahang state Crown Prince, Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah, who is also the current Pahang FA chief.
Selangor 2's Armin pushing for Malaysia eligibility
Selangor 2 midfielder Armin Maier Rafi is applying for his Malaysian passport, he told the New Straits Times.
Having eligibility through his Singaporean-Malaysian mother, Armin joined the Red Giants reserve team ahead of the 2020 season, currently as a foreign player.
"I contacted FA of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam seeking advice on how to apply for a passport. I followed up by submitting the necessary documents, which were verified by the relevant parties."
"However, I am still waiting for the passport. At the moment, I am playing for Selangor II as a foreigner. I am here and ready, and hopefully, the matter will be resolved soon," he told the daily.
Kelantan meet three potential buyers
Premier League side Kelantan are reportedly meeting with three potential investors, according to Berita Harian.
"We have a meeting tomorrow (Sunday, August 9) and another meeting with another party on Monday. We will meet the remaining party, who is based overseas, at a later date.
"The asking price remains at RM3 million, and RM1 million in annual royalty. But this will be discussed further in the meetings," the Kelantan FA secretary general Husin Deraman told the daily.
Malaysian league teams are currently undergoing the first steps of the privatisation process, as mandated by the Malaysian FA ahead of the 2021 season.
TMJ brushed aside suggestion that JDT's success is down to purely money
Since taking over and rebranding the club to Johor Darul Ta'zim, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has transformed the landscape of Malaysia football with his club JDT lifting the last six Malaysia Super League title as well as a plethora of cup success.
The Crown Prince of Johor has pumped in a lot of money into the club not only to secure better players but also in building up better stadium, training facilities and medical infrastructure for the Southern Tigers.
However, TMJ is adamant in a interview with New Straits Times that money was only one of the cogs in the wheel of success.
"I believe our success is not due to backing in terms of financial but it's more of having a well structured plan.You can have a lot of money but at the end of the day what I will say the most important thing is the dressing room.
"You can have a lot of money, the best infrastructure, gym and salaries but if those 27 to 30 men do not want to bleed or run for you on the field, you will never win," said TMJ in the interview.
Never say never, Vincent Tan may yet look to buy Malaysian club
Vincent Tan already has three football clubs under his belt but all of them are European based - in Wales, Belgium and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
While the time is not right at the moment, the businessman does not discount the possibility of one day owning a local team when pressed on the matter during the contract signing with Luqman Hakim for Kortrijk on Thursday.
"All of them are my friends... so how do we compete with friends? How do we buy a club to compete against friends? The teams overseas aren't friends, they are all foes, so that's no problem.
"At this moment maybe not (buying a Malaysian team), maybe next time. The possibilities are always there but it is not confirmed yet," he said.
Financially desperate-Kelantan attract takeover interest...from a Johorean
After the earlier interest shown by US-based player Wan Kuzain's father, Wan Kamal, Kelantan have attracted another takeover interest.
According to Utusan Malaysia, an investment guru and businessman from the state of Johor, Norizam Tukirman has expressed interest in purchasing the Premier League outfit.
On his social media account, Norizam asked to be put in touch with the Kota Bharu-based club's officials, and later told the Bahasa Melayu daily that he managed to speak with its president, Ahmad Muzakkir Hamid.
Norizam however said that he has insisted on auditing the team, observing its plans, structure and cash flow before committing to anything.
"God willing, my finances are adequate to rescue Kelantan. The sport is close to my heart, and I have a team (Zamsaham Hotel FC) that placed second in a community league in Johor.
"I've set my sights on Kelantan because they have a strong fanbase, so it's not wrong for me to offer myself in order to ensure they remain in the Malaysian league."
The preliminary talks between the team and Kamal meanwhile had reportedly fallen through because the Kelantan FA has asked for an annual royalty of RM1 million for the transfer of ownership.
Shah Alam Stadium off-limits until 2022
Selangor are likely to be away from their home ground; the Shah Alam Stadium for two years, according to a report by Sinar Harian.
The Bahasa Melayu news publication quoted the Selangor state Chief Executive Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari as saying that the renovation works had been scheduled to begin earlier, but they were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to rumours, the 80,000 capacity venue is being renovated in preparation for the 2020 edition of the multi-sport event the Malaysian Games (SUKMA), which is set to be hosted by the state of Selangor.
"It is our hope that fans will understand the need for the long-term works...in order to ensure that the Shah Alam Stadium will be fully functional when it is reopened," Amirudin was quoted as saying.
The Red Giants recently told Goal that their first team will share the UiTM Stadium with UiTM FC, while their reserve team will use the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium.
Kuching players recovering from Covid-19
Five Kuching FA players who had earlier been positive with Covid-19 have recovevered from the virus, according to competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL).
In a statement issued on Sunday, August 2, MFL CEO Dato’ Ab Ghani Hassan said that the players of the Premier League outfit, including Japanese midfielder Yuta Suzuki, have been moved from the hospital to a local youth and sports complex in the city of Kuching, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.
He also added that the team's staff and other players have tested negative in the first swab test, and will undergo a second test that will be completed by this Thursday, following which they will be quarantined until August 7.
The city of Kuching has seen a spike in new Covid-19 cases in the past two weeks, with the source of the infection among the team reportedly coming from one of the players, who works for a local hospital.
Former Malaysia international Krishnasamy passes away
Former Malaysia international and Olympian V. Krishnasamy has reportedly passed away at the age of 72 on Sunday, August 2, reported the New Straits Times (NST).
Krishnasamy's death was confirmed by the National Athletes Welfare Foundation (Yakeb) and his family.
His stint with the Perak state team led to call-ups for Malaysia from 1967 to 1976, with his most memorable turnout for the Harimau Malaya in the 1972 Olympics, in Munich. In the tournament, he made one appearance, in their 3-0 group match win against USA.
He had been ill for sometime, according to NST.
Kedah exco set to meet on Monday evening
The executive committee (exco) of Kedah are set to meet for the first time since electing their new president, on Monday, August 3 evening, reported Berita Harian.
A political rift in the state had caused the team to miss paying their players and staff for five months. When the new state Chief Minister Sanusi Md Nor was elected unchallenged as team president in July, he however said that he would not use state funding to settle the arrears, finally prompting the players to report the matter to the Professional Footballers' Association Of Malaysia (PFAM) last week.
A source told the Bahasa Melayu daily that the exco will be discussing the arrears, as well as the privatisation drive that has been made compulsory by the Malaysian FA (FAM).
Meanwhile, in an interview with Stadium Astro, Kedah head coach Aidil Sharin Sahak revealed that he has failed to meet with Sanusi, while the more senior players on his team have had to financially assist the younger players.
PJ City fined RM30,000
Super League side Petaling Jaya City (PJ City) have been fined RM30,000 by the Malaysian Football League (MFL), reported Berita Harian.
The decision was revealed by MFL CEO Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan, for the club's failure to offer a suitable venue for their March 14 league encounter against Terengganu FC.
Their intended home ground, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) Stadium had been deemed unsuitable for Malaysian league matches by MFL, just weeks before the start of the season.
But the venue has reportedly undergone renovations during the Covid-19 pandemic competitions suspension, and will be fit to host matches when the 2020 season resumes in late August.
While most teams will return to action on August 26, PJ City will play earlier; finally facing Terengganu on August 22.
Kedah players lodge formal report to PFAM
Kedah players have finally had enough and have reported their team's failure to pay them for FIVE months.
In a report by Utusan Malaysia, 23 players of the team have reported the matter to the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM), which was confirmed by its CEO Izham Ismail. He also made another ominous revelation:
"There are other teams who have also failed to pay their players, not just Kedah. I can't reveal the details for the time being, but it involves Super League and Premier League teams."
Even Kedah head coach Aidil Sharin has been impacted by the wage problems, as he revealed in another Utusan story: he has been forced to buy RM1 'nasi lemak' from a local market for his dinner.
The wage problems had been caused due to a political standoff in the state of Kedah, which then led to the election of a new team president. However, the new team president and state Chief Minister, Sanusi Md Nor has recently declined to use state funding to settle the arrears.
56th FAM Congress set for August 29 date
Delayed because of the Movement Control Order (MCO), Football Association of Malaysia has no confirmed that the next FAM Congress will be held next month. This congress will be an election one to select the ones to hold office for the 2021-2025 term.
Mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Eksekutif FAM Kali Ke-11 Bagi Penggal 2017-2021 | 21 Julai 2020— FA Malaysia (@FAM_Malaysia) July 21, 2020
Mesyuarat dipengerusikan Presiden FAM, Datuk Haji Hamidin Haji Mohd Amin ini berlangsung di Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya, hari ini.
Baca selanjutnya di https://t.co/nsj2J6P1pB#FAM #HarimauMalaya pic.twitter.com/DW89BwacHJ
Malaysian players' welfare looked after by clubs during competitions suspension - PFAM
No Malaysian league players have been financially neglected by their team during the competitions suspension period, at least according to the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) president Safee Sali.
The Petaling Jaya City forward told Stadium Astro that the association has received no major report from its members during the league hiatus.
"No major problems have been detected concerning the players' welfare.
"This means that all the clubs are doing well during the movement restriction order and competitions suspension period," said Safee.
When asked about players of clubs who have been reported to fail to pay their staff and players, the former Malaysia international responded that PFAM has received no report from them, which leads the association to believe that they want to settle the matter internally.
"There have been discussions between these parties about the payment method.
"...They have yet to lodge a report to us, and this maybe because they want to resolve the matter internally."
MFL looking to get fans in during matches
Competitions organiser the Malaysian Football League (MFL) is looking to get fans to attend the remainder of the 2020 league competition, according to the New Straits Times.
According to its chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan however, the plan to admit fans into the stadiums will only begin after the first two matchdays after competitions suspension.
"We will see how it goes after two matches. We will also discuss with the Sports Ministry on the possibility of allowing fans into stadiums. The ministry will have to appeal to the National Security Council and the Health Ministry for clearance.
"Teams can now conduct full-contact training. We will see how it goes after 14 days before we proceed. Even if fans are allowed into stadiums soon, we will limit spectators to maybe five or 10 per cent of the total capacity of each venue," he said.
In the same interview, he also said that MFL is currently finalising the standard operating procedures (SOP) for the league resumption, which is set to take place on August 22.
Luqman Hakim listed in 2020 Golden Boy nominations
Incredibly, Luqman is part of the 80-strong names in the 2020 nominations by Italian newspaper Tuttosport even though the criteria for selection includes currently playing in the top tier of an European league which the Malaysian is not yet.
He's alongside established names like Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland, Arsenal's Bukayo Saka and Manchester United's Mason Greenwood. As it stands, Luqman has already received plenty of votes and stand at 5%, the same percentage that Haaland and Greenwood has received thus far.
This initial list will be whittle down to 20 by votes before a panel of experts will decide on the final winner. Past winners of this award includes Kylian Mbappe, Matthijs de Ligt and Joao Felix.
Only four teams ready for privatisation, says FAM's Stuart
The Malaysian FA (FAM) secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam has revealed to Harian Metro that only four Malaysian teams have completed their privatisation process ahead of the 2021 season.
Although the names of the clubs were not revealed, he added that 12 teams are in the middle of completing the process, while six have yet to begin theirs.
He urged the teams to cooperate with the requirement that has been made compulsory by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).
"The privatisation process is observed by the AFC and FAs (football associations) that fail to convert to FC (football clubs) to join the league next season may face a huge problem. FAM requires everyone's cooperation.
"There are several phases in the process, and this year teams are required to officially form their FC. FAM wants this process to take place this year before we proceed to the management and responsibilities phases," said Stuart.
Although the Malaysian league has been nominally played professionally since the mid 1990's, unlike most professional leagues in the world, it has been uniquely contested by mostly state FA teams, instead of private and independent football clubs.
2020 AFC U-19 Championship may face postponement
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is not ruling out postponing the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship, said its secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul John as quoted by Harian Metro.
This year's edition has been scheduled to be held in Uzbekistan from October 14 to October 31 this year, but last week the Central Asian country enforced a second lockdown which is set to run until August 1, due to a spike in new Covid-19 cases within its borders.
"We have until the end of this year to hold the finals, but if the situation is not permitting, we may have to postpone it to a later date.
"But we have to hold it by all means because it is also the Asian qualification for next year's U-20 World Cup.
"The host nation won't be changed. For now we will observe the situation in the country. We have one year, and like I said the finals may be postponed " said Windsor.
Malaysia have been drawn in Group D of the tournament alongside Qatar, Yemen and Tajikistan. The four semi-finalists will qualify for the 2021 U-20 World Cup.
Kedah elect new president
The Red Eagles have elected state Chief Minister Sanusi Md Nor as its latest president, reported New Straits Times. He was the only presidential candidate in the extraordinary general meeting, which was held following the resignation of previous association president and previous Chief Minister Dato' Seri Utama Mukhriz Mahathir.
"I hope everyone at Kedah, including the affiliates, will work together. The aim is to help Kedah become a great team again," he was quoted as saying.
Sanusi now looks to settle the arrears owed to its players and staff, due to the political turmoil in the state as well as the Covid-19 outbreak.
"Kedah are not excluded. We need to overcome these challenges together. It is good that local tournaments will be allowed to resume from Aug 15.
"Financially, the Kedah have a lot of backlog in payments. The biggest challenge is the financial aspect. We need to settle overdue payments to our dependents, and that is our immediate goal," he added.
Kelantan lose South Korean foreign player
Premier League side Kelantan have reportedly lose the service of 34-year old South Korean midfielder Kang Seung-Jo, who has returned home according to Berita Harian.
The player who joined the Red Warriors in the 2020 pre-season from Pulau Pinang is reportedly linking up with former club, Korean second tier side Gyeongnam FC.
"The player's contract has been mutually terminated. We thank him for his service and wish him good luck."
It's Jamsari Sabian's turn to sell off his memorabilia
After it was revealed recently that former Malaysia and Perak striker Khalid Jamlus was forced to sell off personal memento from his playing days in order to make ends meet, another player has been spotted doing something similar.
Former Selangor goalkeeper Jamsari Sabian was reported by Berita Harian to have sold the medals that he won with the Red Giants in 2005, when they won the Premier League title, the FA Cup as well as the Malaysia Cup, for a total of RM12,000 to a fan.
However, according to the report, he did not sell off his memorabilia out of financial necessity; rather it was done out of frustration at an unfulfilled financial promise.
"Don't get me wrong, it's not the same situation (as Khalid's). Money is tight, but I'm selling them off out of my disappointment regarding the unpaid wage owed to me by a party that I don't want to name.
"I don't getting anything by hanging on to them. It's better that I sell them off to those who are interested. I can't even look at them."
2020 AFC U-19 Championship host Uzbekistan enters second coronavirus lockdown
2020 AFC U-19 Championship host Uzbekistan has reportedly enforced a second coronavirus lockdown beginning Friday, July 10.
The decision was made due to a spike in new Covid-19 cases since the country's first lockdown ended, and the second confinement period is expected to be in force until August 1.
As of July 12, the country has recorded a total of 12,513 cases, as well as 57 deaths.
The 2020 AFC U-19 Championship is scheduled to be held in the country from October 14 to October 31, with Malaysia drawn in Group D alongside Qatar, Yemen and Tajikistan. The four semi-finalists will qualify for the 2021 U-20 World Cup.
UiTM imports seek to return home while Malaysian league inches closer towards resumption
While the latest developments seem to suggest that the 2020 Malaysian season is ready to be resumed, UiTM FC are reportedly looking to be without several of their foreign players.
According to the New Straits Times, unlike other Malaysian clubs' foreign players, the university side's imports had remained in the country during the Covid-19 outbreak. Now that the situation is improving in the country and elsewhere in the world, the players have been asking the club to be allowed to return home temporarily to visit their families.
"Ousmane Fane begged us to allow him to return to France because he wants to see his wife, so we're sorting that out with immigration.
"Rabih Ataya also wants to go back to Lebanon to see his family. Both the players' paperwork has been sent to immigration but we would like to have them back before the first week of August should there be a requirement for quarantine," said team manager Mustaza Ahmad.
Kedah set to elect new president
Kedah are expected to elect new executives on Sunday, reported Berita Harian. Due to a political crisis in the state of Kedah, the club's previous president and the state's former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was forced to step down, resulting in the club players reportedly not receiving their salary for months.
The Red Eagles are reportedly set to elect the new state Chief Minister Sanusi Md Nor as president, with no other candidate nominated. The post of vice president has also seen a single candidate remaining on the ballot; that of former player Radhi Mat Din's.
The new president is expected to appoint a new honorary secretary, a post which has also been left vacant due to the political saga.
Malaysian league coaches prefer September restart
Although many quarters as well as fans have previously voiced out their desire for the 2020 Malaysian league season to restart as soon as possible, several professional Malaysian coaches have expressed their preference for a September restart date instead.
At the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, league organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL) had scheduled a September 1 restart date with only seven remaining 'first half' fixtures of the season set to be played. But when the situation turned out better than anticipated, rumours surfaced that the season could resume in mid-August. Last Thursday, the Malaysian government lifted its prohibition on contact sports and contact training, but MFL is yet to issue any concrete league resumption plans.
According to Berita Harian, Selangor boss B Satiananthan wants to retain the September 1 date: "As a coach, I think it's better that we stick to the September restart. A lot needs to be done because the players have not been playing, before competitive games can be played again.
"A September restart date is good for the clubs but an August restart would be good for the Malaysia national team. So it's up to MFL and we'll be ready nevertheless."
This sentiment was echoed by PJ City boss K. Devan: "It all depends on MFL, but if you ask me, it's better to restart in September. An earlier restart would put teams that restarted training at a disadvantage."
Early resumption of Malaysian league looks positive
The Malaysian league may return early, suggests Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican as quoted by The Star.
According to him, a meeting on the resumption of several more Malaysian industries, including that of sport, will be held on Thursday.
“The meeting, to be chaired by Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, will decide on the opening of various sectors including economy, social, recreational, religious, and even sports.
“However, everything looks so positive and I hope the number of Covid-19 cases continues to go down.
“Malaysians are very disciplined and have flattened the curve, so I see a very high confidence from the rakyat and the government in allowing sports such as football, ” said Reezal, who stressed that the final decision will be made by the National Security Council (NSC).
Perak state gov't looking to help Khalid Jamlus
The Perak state government is looking to help the financially-belegeaured former Perak and Malaysia striker, said the Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the former striker's financial situation is currently so dire, that he was forced to hold an online auction to sell off personal memorabilia, including the league golden boot award that he won in 2002. He revealed in the auction that he has been unable to secure an employment for the past three years, which forced him to hold the auction in order to raise funds for him and his family.
Although there was an outpouring of sympathy following the revelation, he was also criticised for reportedly refusing to work as a youth coach in order to secure more coaching experience.
"I haven't had the time to meet him, but yesterday I was in a discussion with his colleagues, trying to work out a way for him to earn a living without needing to sell off his golden boot and other personal memento," said Faizal who is also the Perak association president, as quoted by Berita Harian.
Malaysia will face Bahrain in friendly
Malaysia will take on Bahrain in a friendly before playing in their World Cup Asian qualifying matches this year, revealed Harimau Malaya head coach Tan Cheng Hoe to Harian Metro.
According to Cheng Hoe, the match will be part of his team's preparations before playing away to UAE in their October 8 Group G encounter.
The friendly match will be held on October 2, in Manama, Bahrain.
"I welcome this match because not only the team needs to acclimatise to the weather in the Gulf region, but the players also need to get used to the kind of football played there.
"We have to plan well and ensure that the preparations can take place without a hitch," said Cheng Hoe.
Malaysian FA welcomes assistance in identifying mixed-heritage overseas players
The Malaysian FA (FAM) welcomes efforts by external parties to identify overseas-based players that can potentially represent Malaysia, reported the New Straits Times.
Its naturalisation programme committee chairman Datuk Wira Yusoff Mahadi admitted that the association lacks manpower to identify more overseas players with Malaysian heritage, and is glad that there are parties and fans who are eager to try and identify such players.
Yusoff however reminds those interested in identifying such players to ensure that the footballers are interested in representing the country
"It's hard for us to run checks on them if they are not interested."
FAM also welcomes potential mixed-heritage players to submit their proof of ancestry to them, like what has been done by recent Malaysia target Marcel Kalonda.
The 22-year old Congolese player, who has claimed Malaysian heritage through a grandfather, was recently brought to Malaysian fans' attention thanks to the work of Twitter user Marco Negeri. The ZESCO United defender in Zambia has expressed interest in playing for Malaysia.
Debt-ridden Kelantan oust president, elect caretaker chief
Financially-beleaguered Kelantan have ousted their president Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah and his deputy Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah, reported Berita Harian on Monday.
Veep Datuk Shaari Mat Husin was elected to caretaker president role, and tasked with securing funds needed to settle its arrears to former players and officials, as instructed by FIFA some months ago.
Kelantan hit with another debt claim
Financially-beleaguered Premier League side Kelantan are catching no break. On top of the ongoing unpaid wage claims by numerous former players and officials, Berita Harian on Friday revealed that they have been asked to settle a legal debt accrued all the way back in 2013.
A law firm has asked the side to pay the RM50,000 it incurred for engaging its service in the player transfer dispute involving Malaysia international Norshahrul Idlan Talaha and JDT.
"The 2013 legal fees were not settled by the board at the time, and now it is up to us to handle something that took place seven years ago.
"This is another example how small debts can pile up to the extent of what it is now. But we will try to settle our debts," said club chairman Datuk Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah.
16 teams allowed to resume training so far, reveals MFL
16 Malaysian professional teams have been allowed to return to training following the Covid-19 outbreak quarantine, revealed Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Thursday. Of the 16, eight are top tier clubs (UiTM FC, Selangor, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Terengganu FC, Perak, Melaka United, Felda United and Kedah), while the other half are Premier League sides (Negeri Sembilan, Selangor 2, JDT II, TFC II, Pulau Pinang, Kuching FA, Perak II and Kuala Lumpur).
Although the Malaysian government is yet to allow contact sports to be played at any level, it has allowed football teams to conduct no-contact training, with MFL requiring teams to satisfy four requirements before they are allowed to conduct practice; swab tests on coaches and players, the appointment of a coordinating official, the use of a closed venue for team training, and for the training venue to be registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
In the MFL statement, its chief executive officer Dato’ Ab Ghani Hassan thanked the teams for adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP), which according to him will help convince the government that the teams are ready to proceed to phase two of post-quarantine period training, which in turn will help the 2020 Malaysian league receive permission to continue earlier than its intended September restart date.
In the meantime, Super League side Pahang are expected to return to practice next week, as told by head coach Dollah Salleh to Berita Harian.
Kuala Lumpur boss Nidzam Adzha Yusoff meanwhile expresed his hope that when the league resumes, that a small number of fans will be allowed to attend the matches.
PDRM unable to resume training due to players' unavailability
According to The Star, despite the conditional permission to start training given to Malaysian league clubs, Super League police side PDRM FA are not likely to resume training this month. This is because most of its squad members are police officers who are still on Covid-19 duty.
Malaysian clubs have been allowed to conduct no-contact training since last week once they satisfy four health and safety requirements, but the Cops are without most of their players, as 60 per cent of their squad members are active policemen.
“Most of our players are cops. I was told the circular for them to return to training will be issued on July 1... there’s nothing much we can do until then. Once we get the all clear, we’ll be able to conduct the Covid-19 swab tests.
“For the time being, they will continue with their training programmes at home. This is definitely a setback for us but we have to live with it. There will be a lot of catching up to do once we start training,” said Ishak.
According to news reports, 10 out of 24 Super League and Premier League clubs have received the permission to resume training following the global Covid-19 pandemic. The league meanwhile is slated to return in September in a diminished capacity; only the remaining seven fixtures of the league's 'first half' will be played
UAE Pro League cancels remainder of 2019-2020 season
Following a meeting held on 17 June, the board of directors of the UAE Pro League decided not to resume the 2019-2020 Arabian Gulf League and the U21 Arabian Gulf League competition because of the havoc to the fixture calendar due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
With matches already on suspension since 15 March 2020, resumption would mean matches in July and August, which is not preferred by the organisation and the clubs because of that is the time of extremely hot and humid weather conditions in the country, that may be hazardous for players to train or play during that period.
Malaysia are scheduled to take on United Arab Emirates in the resumption of the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualification on 8 October and this latest news could mean that the Arab country might not be in the best condition to face Tan Cheng Hoe's boys, especially since the M-League is expected to resume in August.
Malaysian youngster Omar joins Red Star
A Malaysian youth player has reportedly joined Serbian club Red Star Belgrade's junior team, reported Berita Harian.
15-year old Omar Raiyan Kama Azlan has been signed by the former European Cup (now UEFA Champions League) winner after a two-week trial.
The teenager formerly lived in UAE with his family, and had trained with a Manchester City academy. On top of football, he is also reportedly an all-rounder, having excelled in swimming as well as mathematics competitions.
Negeri Sembilan first to return to training
Premier League side Negeri Sembilan became the first Malaysian league team to return to training following the Covid-19 competitions suspension and nationwide quarantine, reported Berita Harian.
They were allowed to train following the government's decision to allow contact sport teams to resume team training, albeit without contact.
The Deer returned to the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium for training on Tuesday, having then satisfied competitions organiser Malaysian Football League's (MFL) four health and safety requirements.
The requirements call for swab tests to be conducted on coaches and players, the appointment of a coordinating official, the use of a closed venue for team training, and for the training venue to be registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.
On Wednesday morning, it was reported by Sinar Harian that the Selangor reserve team is the second side to be granted MFL's permission to return to training, after fulfilling all four of the requirements.
In the meantime, Sabah, Terengganu FC and Perak are among the clubs that have started conducting swab tests.
'Soccer City' to be built in Putrajaya, housing FAM, AFF and AFC headquarters
The next step in establishing Malaysia's football hub was made on Tuesday, when the Malaysian FA (FAM) exchanged development documents with the country's ministry of youth and sports and Federal Territories ministry.
The plan that is dubbed the 'Soccer City' will house the headquarters of FAM, the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) as well as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), according to a social media post by the Malaysian association.
"Soccer City will be a footballing hub that features the headquarters of the Asian, ASEAN and Malaysian governing bodies, complimented by a mini stadium, hostels and a training centre that would be able to run football from grassroots right up to the elite,” said FAM president Datuk Hamidin Amin.
According to Berita Harian, the 42.43 acre development will be located in Precinct 5, and an AFC-owned 10,000-capacity stadium.
Federal Territories minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa also told that the Malaysian government is planning to name the hub after the late former Sultan of Pahang, FAM president as well as AFC and FIFA key figure Sultan Ahmad Shah, who first mooted the idea of bringing the three organisations together to Malaysia's administrative capital.
Vietnam plans to host 2020 AFF Championship
Defending champions Vietnam are planning to host the 2020 AFF Championship, according to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) website as quoted by the Indonesian edition of Goal.
The suggestion was voiced out by the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) head of competitions commitee and representative of VFF president, Tran Quoc Tuan due to the fact that the country is the first Southeast Asian country to have resumed its 2020 domestic football calendar following the Covid-19 outbreak, and it was able to do so without holding matches behind closed doors.
According to VFF, the AFF committee recently held a meeting regarding the 2020 edition of the biennial tournament, which had previously looked uncertain due to the pandemic. The most recent edition back in 2018 was the first time it was held on a home and away basis without a host nation, and the change proved to be financially successful. But safety concerns due to the outbreak may call for the tournament to revert to a host nation system again, even if temporarily.
Changes to the competition were also proposed, ones that are in line with the FIFA post-Covid 19 recommendations. For example, each country will be allowed to list 70 players on its preliminary squad list as compared to 50 previously. Final squad size will also be increased from 23 to 30, while a matchday squad can include 23 players, three more than before. The proposals will be discussed by AFF on June 16.
Selangor willing to let Luqman join Kortrijk for free
Selangor are reportedly willing to let Malaysian youth star Luqman Hakim Shamsudin join KV Kortrijk, as told by club deputy president Datuk Seri Shahril Mokhtar to Berita Harian.
The forward, currently on Selangor reserve team books, had earlier been slated to sign for the Belgian side when he turns 18. However, the global coronavirus outbreak delayed the plan and he joined up with the Red Giants' Premier League side instead.
But earlier this week, reports emerged that with the pandemic subsiding, the club, which is owned by Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Vincent Tan, have called the youngster to come join their training.
Shahril has dispelled rumours that Selangor are reluctant to let him leave.
"For the time being, discussions about it (his departure to Belgium) need to be held. But it's more about us going through our contract with him in detail. He knows the terms and clauses of our agreement, and what is important is what's best for him as well as mutual benefit.
"The terms need to be agreed to by all parties in this discussion. Hopefully Kortrijk understand this. We are willing to let him go without payment."
Multiple sources have told Goal that the 28 2019 Mokhtar Dahari Academy graduates signed by Selangor, Luqman being one of them, have a clause in their contracts that allow them to leave for an overseas club, if an offer arrives within the first year of their deal with the Red Giants.
Kedah, FAM embroiled in war of words over wage arrears
Super League side Kedah and the Malaysian FA (FAM) have been embroiled in a heated dispute over the past few days, on the issue of the former's failure to pay its players' wages.
After JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim claimed that Kedah, alongside Kelantan, Melaka United and Pulau Pinang currently owe their players and warned them against using the absence of income from competitive matches as an excuse to cut their players wages, Red Eagles honorary secretary Asmirul Anuar Aris issued a response on his social media account, alleging that their failure to pay players stem from FAM and competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL).
Amirul claimed that FAM and MFL have not decided on a date on which Malaysian competitions will resume despite having held multiple meetings, resulting in the inability to restructure finances on Kedah and other clubs' part.
A few hours later, FAM hit back at Amirul's statement with one of their own, alleging that the association has sent Malaysian club officials four e-mails, which touched on the Malaysian government's currently ongoing movement control order (MCO), player contract renegotiations and possible competitions resumption plans.
FAM further slammed Amirul for his supposed failure to keep abreast of the updates provided, and refusal to utilise the proper channel to air his grouse.
Melaka players agree to paycut despite having been unpaid
Melaka United players have agreed to a paycut despite being owed their February and March salaries, reported New Straits Times.
Team captain and former Malaysia skipper Safiq Rahim told the newspaper that the decision was agreed in a meeting with the club board on Wednesday.
“However, we have only agreed to accept pay cuts from this month. The agreement does not cover our salaries for February and March. They need to pay us both months in full.
“However, the pay cut scale has not been agreed yet,” said Safiq.
The decision is an unusual one, considering that the Professional Footballers Association of Malaysia (PFAM) on Sunday issued a statement insisting that only clubs with no unpaid wages be allowed to hold paycut discussions with their players.
AFC confirms May and June postponements
Mat Yo hits back at agent's double-dealing claim
Malaysia forward Norshahrul Idlan Talaha has hit back at his agent Abdul Halim Abdul Shukor's allegation that he has signed with a Thailand-based agency behind Halim's back, reported Berita Harian. In a report published on Sunday, April 12, the player who is also known as Mat Yo claimed that Halim was aware that he has signed with Pro24 Agency just before signing with Thai league club BG Pathum United.
"I'd told him that I've already signed with Pro24 Agency, but he said that it's not a problem because he will discuss the matter with BG Pathum's head coach and technical director. He assured me that there would be no issue, but why is he now saying that the decision was made without his knowledge?
"Secondly, he claimed that he is yet to receive the agent fee from BG Pathum, yet the club stated that they have made the payment. Logically speaking, if he has not been paid, surely he would have raised the matter to me or the club. Yet he has not contacted me, which leads me to believe that he has received the fee," argued the 34-year old.
FAM has right to cancel 2020 Malaysian league, says Windsor
The Malaysian FA (FAM) has the discretion to cancel the 2020 Malaysian league altogether, according to Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general Datuk Windsor Paul John.
"AFC has no power to dictate whether its member nations' leagues are to be stopped or resumed, as it is ultimately a domestic decision.
"Several Asian domestic leagues have been cancelled [due to the global Covid-19 outbreak], such as the Macau and Sri Lankan leagues," he was quoted by Sinar Harian.
Several Malaysian football observers have suggested that this year's Malaysian competition be cancelled outright, due to the prolonged disruption to the fixtures brought about by the coronavirus crisis. Four matchdays of the Malaysian league had been played before it was suspended in March.
Mat Yo in dispute with agent
Berita Harian yesterday reported that Malaysia international Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, who is currently playing club football in Thailand for BG Phatum, is embroiled in a dispute with his agent, Abdul Halim Abdul Shukor of Offside Sports.
The veteran forward, who has remained in Thailand with his family while the Thai league is suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has claimed that he has not been able to get in touch with the representative.
However, in a follow-up report, Halim told Berita Harian that he has not been answering due to an ongoing dispute between the two; in which Norshahrul, who is also known by fans as Mat Yo, is alleged to have signed with another representative; one based in Thailand.
"I am not neglecting him, instead I have decided to refrain from commenting due to there being a case involving Norshahrul, me, the Thailand agency Agency Pro24), BG Pathum and the Thai FA.
"When Norshahrul signed with BG Pathum, the Thai agency lodged a report with the Thai FA and the club. The case is still ongoing, and is likely to take persist due to the coronavirus crisis."
MFL looking into match reduction, not total scrapping of competitions
According to The Star, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) is unlikely to scrap certain competitions in order to allow the 2020 to end on time. Suggestions have been made for this year's Malaysia Cup to be scrapped in order to allow the season to be completed before the year ends, but MFL COO Shazli Shaik Mohd stated that that is not possible due to sponsorship obligations. According to him, MFL will look into the possibility of reducing the number of matches instead.
Man United cancel Malaysia visit
English giants Manchester United has reportedly cancelled their scheduled visit to Malaysia.English giants Manchester United has reportedly cancelled their scheduled visit to Malaysia, according to the New Straits Times. They had initially been scheduled to play M-League All-Stars on July 29, but the plan has been dashed by the global coronavirus outbreak.
PFAM rejects proposed paycut
MFL bars foreign players from leaving the country during coronavirus hiatus
On Tuesday, March 18, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) issued more instructions to clubs concerning their activities during the competitions' suspension.
On top of prohibiting teams from playing in friendly matches and holding training, it has also barred foreign players from leaving the country, for fear that they might not be allowed to enter Malaysia again due to the travel restrictions imposed by the government. It is not entirely clear whether MFL actually has the authority to stop players of foreign nationalities from leaving the country during the outbreak.
Malaysian competitions to be suspended!
On Friday, the Malaysian FA (FAM) and Malaysian competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL) jointly announced that Super League, Premier League, M3, M4, Youth Cup and Premier Futsal League matches that had been organised to take place this weekend will be played behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak in the country and globally.
Furthermore, all competitions beyond the weekend have also been postponed indefinitely.
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.
JDT back on top after Super League matchday three
Super League matchday three was played out over Tuesday and Wednesday, and the standings look more familiar, following Melaka United's shock defeat and JDT's win. Here are the results:
Check out the standings here. Matchday four will be played on this Saturday and Sunday.
Launch of Malaysia Professional Referee System (MProRS)
FAM are committed to the introduction of professional match officials and six referees are in the final list competing for just two spots available in the first batch. Muhammad Nazmi Nasaruddin, Tuan Mohd Yaasin Tuan Mohd Hanafiah, Zulkarnain Zakaria, Muhammad Faizuddin Ismail, Razlan Joffri Ali and Muhammad Izzul Fikri Kamaruzaman are those six who are in the final shortlist.
By July, FAM expected to select two from this six to be signed up with MProRS with two more being roped in by 2021, and another two in 2022.
Saturday's Super League matchday two results
Four more round two Super League matches, and two of Premier League, were played on Friday. The most sensational match is surely the one between Kedah and Terengganu FC, in which Dominique da Silva's four goals helped the visitors record a stunning come-from-behind win against the Red Eagles. Here are the results:
The current Super League standings:
KEDUDUKAN PUSINGAN LS2 CIMB LIGA SUPER 2020
Friday's MSL and MPL matchday two results
Two round two Super League matches, and two of Premier League, were played on Friday. In the top tier, favourites Pahang fell to their second defeat, again to another last-minute winning goal, this time against Petaling Jaya City. Here are the results:
In the second division, the match between two recently-promoted teams Kelantan United and Kuching ended in a 2-1 win to the hosts. The encounter between UKM FC and Kelantan however had to be postponed to another date due to inclement weather.
The remaining four Super League matches and three Premier League encounters will be played on Saturday.
FA Cup round two venues and dates announced
Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Friday announced the dates, kick-off times and venues of the second round of the FA Cup.
The 16 single-legged ties had earlier been scheduled to take place over March 17 and 18, and on Friday MFL announced the exact dates.
However, two fixtures; Selangor vs Sarawak United and Petaling Jaya City vs Imigresen are still without venues and the details will be confirmed later. Selangor and City were recently barred from playing their home games at the Shah Alam Stadium and the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium, respectively, due to concerns over safety and facilities.
Coronavirus set to impact Malaysian matches
The Coronavirus outbreak across the globe is set to affect football matches in the country and those involving the Malaysia national team.
On Thursday, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) issued a statement that it will meet with FIFA and member nations, concerning the World Cup qualification Asian matches, as well as other continental matches. On Monday, a source told Goal that the AFC may seek the postponement of the qualification matches that had initially been scheduled for March and June this year, including Malaysia's three remaining matches.
On the same day, Malaysian competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL) too stated that it is observing the outbreak in the country. However, it is not likely to postpone the scheduled matchdays, rather it would play the matches behind closed doors if the situation worsens. It also stated that further meetings will be held with participating clubs.
Although Malaysia had seemingly been able to control the outbreak within its borders last month, the past week has seen new patients infected by Corvid 19.
MFL makes stand on Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Malaysian Football League is planning to have the Selangor v Perak encounter as the last Super League match thereThe national stadium should be only for cup finals and the national team, that is the way MFL are seeing it. Problems to the Shah Alam Stadium has meant that Selangor needed to look for an alternative venue. While MFL approved the change to Bukit Jalil, it will be the last domestic league fixture that will be doing so at this particular stadium.
Shah Alam and PJ Stadiums deemed unfit to host matches
Two stadiums in the state of Selangor have been barred from hosting Malaysian league matches this season.
Just one week before they are supposed to play their first Super League at their respective home grounds this season, it was announced by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) on Sunday, March 1 that Selangor and PJ City will not be able to use the Shah Alam Stadium and the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium this season.
According to MFL, the Shah Alam Stadium did not pass their third inspection to ensure the roof of the cavernous venue is safe, while the other stadium, located 10 kilometres away, has not passed the standards set for league match dressing rooms.
Hourse later, Selangor issued a statement saying that they are still looking to appeal against the decision.
Selangor have been scheduled to host Perak on March 7, while PJ City are set to host Pahang on March 6.
Super League round 1 results
Four clubs won their round one Malaysia Super League matches over the weekend.
The 2020 Super League finally kicked off over the weekend, and four clubs won their respective encounters.
KEPUTUSAN MASA PENUH 🏆 CIMB PIALA SUMBANGSIH 2020— #LigaMalaysia2020 (@MFL_MY) February 28, 2020
Johor Darul Ta’zim menewaskan Kedah 1-0 dengan gol tunggal berjaya dijaringkan oleh Mauricio. Tahniah diucapkan! 🎉#ForwardFootball#CIMBPialaSumbangsih2020 pic.twitter.com/4BMTe3TmMm
UAE v Malaysia on tenterhooks
Coronavirus takes another toll... Malaysia's friendly match
Malaysia's friendly match against Bahrain has been cancelled.
Malaysia's friendly match away to Bahrain, scheduled to take place on March 21, has been cancelled according to an announcement made by the Malaysian FA (FAM) on Monday. In a press release, the association explained that the Middle Eastern country has temporarily banned travellers from a number of Asian countries, due to the worldwide spread of the coronavirus.
The match had been scheduled to prepare the Harimau Malaya for their World Cup Asian qualification matches against Vietnam (March 26) and UAE (March 31). FAM also added that it will provide an alternative plan to prepare for the two ties.
FA Cup round two fixtures set
16 single-legged ties will be played in round two of the FA Cup in March.On Monday afternoon, the draw for round two FA Cup matches was performed by competitions organiser MFL. Among the interesting fixtures scheduled to take place on March 17 and 18 are those between 2019 semi-finalists Pahang and Kedah, Pulau Pinang and Negeri Sembilan, and Sabah and Kuala Lumpur. Here are the complete match-ups:
FA Cup round one complete
Six more FA Cup round one matches were played on Sunday.
Six more FA Cup round one matches were played on Sunday, involving third and fourth tier clubs, and here are the results.
The 12 round one winners will be drawn against Super League and Premier League teams in round two, with the draw scheduled to be performed on Monday afternoon.
Kedah allocated only 500 tickets for Sumbangsih tie
Kedah will only receive 500 away tickets for their Sumbangsih Cup tie against JDT.
JDT are well within their rights to allocate only 500 tickets to the away supporters for their Sumbangsih Cup match against Kedah this Friday, said MFL CEO Datuk Ghani Ab Hassan as quoted by Berita Harian.
According to him, the MFL manual states that clubs playing at grounds with a capacity between 20,000 and 40,000 are required to allocate a minimum of 500 tickets to the travelling fans.
However, Kedah are eager for 500 more tickets to be allocated to them, for the season-opener that will be held at JDT's newly-launced Sultan Ibrahim Stadium.
Perak aim for top three spot
2018 Malaysia Cup champions will be looking to finish the Super League campaign in the top three spot.
2018 Malaysia Cup champions will be looking to finish the Super League campaign in the top three, said head coach Mehmet Durakovic to Berita Harian.
Speaking during their 2020 jersey launch, the Australian said that this season will be a challenge, but they will be up for it nevertheless.
"We have lost a number of key players in the pre-season, but with the combination of experienced and young players we will try [to finish in top three]"
Kelantan complete foreign signings
Red Warriors have all four imports for this season secured.In their season launch on Saturday, Premier League side Kelantan announced that they have completed the signings of all four of their foreign players for this season. They are Felix Chidi Odili (Nigerian), Christopher Jackson (Liberian), Kang Seung Jo (South Korean) and Masaki Watanabe (Japanese). The former Super League champions have set the target of returning to the top-tier.
Nwakaeme stays on at Pahang
Dickson Nwakaeme will play for Pahang for another season
Pahang have re-signed Nigerian striker Dickson Nwakaeme for another season, according to Berita Harian. The 33-year old has been with the Elephants for a total of three seasons, scoring seven league goals and two FA Cup goals in 2019. The club have now completed all five of their foreign signings; Ivan Carlos (Brazil), Harold Goulon (French), Adam Reed (Filipino) and Khalil Khamis (Lebanese).
JDT launch new stadium
JDT launch their new home ground; the Sultan Ibrahim StadiumSix-time Malaysian Super League champions JDT launch their new home ground; the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, located in Iskandar Puteri, on Saturday. The stadium seats 40,000 spectators and costs around RM200 million (around USD50 million). Its former home ground; the Tan Sri Dato' Hassan Yunos Stadium will be used by their reserve team from now on. See the photos from the launch here.
Six FA Cup round one fixtures played
Six FA Cup round one fixtures were played on Saturday.Six FA Cup round one fixtures were played on Saturday, involving M3 League and M4 sides. Here are the results:
There are several that will happen across the country yesterday and today, with Super League newcomers UiTM FC kicking things off.
Early this morning Perak completed their launch. What do you make of the new home kit? Simple elegance?
Then it is Melaka's turn, staying true to their green roots.
Plan your weekend football action
Right here, you will find all the LIVE football matches from around the globe that you can watch in Malaysia today until the early hours of Monday morning. See what, who and when you want to get your football fix.
The dates and venues for FA Cup first round fixtures revealed
24 teams compete for the chance to reach the second round of the competition where they will get a chance to pit their skills against the established big boys from the Super League and Premier League.
Saturday 22 Feb 2020
Protap FC v Nor Farhan FC, Mini MMU Stadium 4:15pm
SSFC v Kickers FC, Padang Merdeka Port Dickson 4:15pm
Armed Forces FC v SA United FC, Mini Mindef Stadium 4:15pm
Harini KS FC v NLFC-MAHSA, UPM Stadium 9:00pm
KT Rovers v Thai Selangor FC, SSINS 9:00pm
Sunday 23 Feb 2020
Staroba FC v Imigresen FC, USIM Stadium 4:15pm
Markless ST v Melaka United FC, Padang Astaka Kuala Berang, 4:15pm
KSR Sains FC v Nossa Bukit Jelutong FC, PBNS Rahang Square, 4:15pm
Tun Razak City FC v Kuatagh FC, Panasonic Stadium 4:15pm
Sarawak v Real Chukai FC, Sarawak Stadium 8:15pm
KL Rovers v Southern FC, KLFA Stadium 9:00pm
Langkawi City FC v Gamestop FC, Lada Stadium 9:00pm
Windfall for MSL and MPL teams......not quite
Malaysian Football League has revealed the sum to be paid to the respective Super League and Premier League teams for the 2020 season, garnered through the new deals they have signed. Read the full story here.
Identities of female referees for M-League 2020 revealed by FAM
While most may not be familiar with the names yet, one of the trio in Rita Gani is an experienced referee who has been involved in World Cups and Olympics.
Malaysia's latest FIFA ranking
In the updated list released today, Malaysia stayed in the 154th spot, no change from previous month. No matches were played during the intertwining period.
Which team from Malaysia to get 2021 AFC Cup spots?
Malaysian league to feature female referees
Two female referees will officiate Malaysia league matches this season, said Malaysian FA referees committee chairman Md Dali Wahid.
Two female referees will officiate Malaysia league matches this season, said Malaysian FA referees committee chairman Md Dali Wahid to Berita Harian.
"For the first time, this season will see the involvement of one female referee and one female assistant referee, either in the Super League or the Premier League. This is part of the effort by the Malaysian FA to get female referees involved. We will also introduce 30 new referees in the two competitions."
FA Cup round one draw performed
24 third and four tier clubs will take part in round one of the 2020 FA Cup.The draw for the first round of the 2020 FA Cup, took place on Monday afternoon. 24 third and fourth-tier clubs will take part in the single-legged ties, with the 12 winners set to be drawn against the big boys in round two. Here are the match-ups:
📄 Berikut merupakan keputusan majlis undian Pusingan Pertama Piala FA 2020.— Malaysian Football League (@MFL_MY) February 17, 2020
24 pasukan akan berentap pada perlawanan yang bakal berlangsung hujung minggu ini.
Perlawanan mana yang menjadi pilihan anda? 😎 #PialaFA2020 pic.twitter.com/E3R6Q8zcxG
Davies signing announced by JDT
JDT confirm their signing of Matthew Davies from Pahang
JDT on Monday announced their signing of Malaysia right back and Pahang captain Matthew Davies.
Liridon eligible for Malaysia's remaining WCQ matches
Liridon Krasniqi is eligible for Malaysia's World Cup qualifiers match against UAE.
JDT midfielder Liridon Krasniqi is eligible for Malaysia's coming World Cup qualification matches, reported Berita Harian. Although the Kosovar-born midfielder recently received his Malaysian citizenship, it had been reported that it would take some time before he is eligible to play for Malaysia in the qualifiers, according to AFC rules.
But according to Malaysian FA deputy president Datuk Yusoff Mahadi, the 28-year old player will be able to play for the Harimau Malaya soon, when they take on UAE on March 26, in Group G of the World Cup Asia qualifiers.
Terengganu have unpaid wages
Terengganu FC have not paid their former players and staff's wages, according to a report.
Terengganu FC have failed to pay their former players and staff's wages, according to a report by Berita Harian.
"The unpaid wages are from 2018, and 2019 for some players. We had not reported about it initially because the club promised to make the payments on February 10.
"But no payment has been made, and several foreign players have taken the matter to FIFA's attention," said an unnamed source to the publication.
Curiously, the Turtles are not one of the clubs whose financial situation is currently on the Malaysian FA's radar.
Davies to make late switch to JDT
Matthew Davies will move from Pahang to JDTPahang captain and Malaysia right back Matthew Davies has announced that he will move to Malaysian powerhouse JDT, after five seasons with the Elephants. Read our story here.
24 lower league sides reach FA Cup first round
24 M3 and M4 teams have qualified for the 2020 FA Cup after winning their qualification matches.
Malaysia's lower league sides competed in the qualification round of the 2020 FA Cup over the weekend, and after the matches were over, 16 emerged as winners, to book their chance of going up against the big boys. Among the notable teams who went through were state side Sarawak, army outfit Armed Forces FC and big spenders Kuala Lumpur Rovers. The 16 sides will be joined by eight other lower-tier teams who have received a bye to the first round.
🎉 Tahniah diucapkan kepada 2⃣4⃣ pasukan yang layak ke pusingan pertama (FA1) Piala FA 2020!— Malaysian Football League (@MFL_MY) February 16, 2020
Majlis undian Pusingan Pertama akan berlangsung esok jam 3pm dan saksikan siaran langsung di Facebook Live Malaysian Football League.#PialaFA2020 pic.twitter.com/s844mMQsFB
The draw for the first round will be held at 3 pm Malaysian time, Monday.