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New COVID-19 clusters will not affect M-League restart

5th August, 2020

IPOH: The Malaysian League (M-League) football competition will resume as scheduled on Aug 26, despite the emergence of new COVID-19 clusters in the country recently.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president, Datuk Mohd Yusoff Mahadi said the new clusters would not be an issue, as each player had undergone the COVID-19 screening test.

“Players as well as teams allowed to play (in the M-League) have undergone this process (COVID-19 screening). We do not allow outside teams that do not undergo screening tests to play or organise friendly matches.”

“The standard operating procedures (SOP) for competitions and games are already in place and it is sufficient. So far, there have been no cases involving players or teams following the screening tests,” he said when met by reporters after the 62nd annual congress of the Perak Football Association (PAFA) here yesterday.

On July 17, the Malaysian Football League (MFL) confirmed that the M-League competition, which has been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on Aug 26, and is scheduled to end on Sept 23 with two postponed matches to take place on Aug 22.

Recently, Health Director-General, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Ministry of Health had detected two new clusters, namely the Sivagangga PUI (patient under investigation) cluster in Kedah and the Satok cluster in Sarawak.

Asked about the financial crisis faced by some local football associations at the moment, Mohd Yusoff said he was aware of it, adding that the situation was still under control.

“I believe FAM president (Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin) will take the appropriate steps to help the affected associations to ensure the continuity of the league, because we do not want any team to become defunct due to this problem.”

“I hope all parties, including the players, can be tolerant in dealing with the crisis to find short-term and long-term solutions,” he said.

Earlier, PAFA president, Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu in his speech read by his special adviser, Datuk Zainol Fadzi Paharuddin during the congress said although the association was not spared from the repercussions of COVID-19, it had still managed to retain all officers and players without having to cancel any contracts or impose salary cuts. – Bernama

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