M-League teams allowed to hold friendlies behind closed doors

All the teams have undergone MFL assessment to ensure there are no infections among the players and officials after contact training was given the green light

ALL Super League and Premier League teams are allowed to hold friendly matches among themselves behind closed doors beginning yesterday, said Malaysian Football League (MFL) CEO Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan.

He said these warm-up matches will be useful for the Super League and Premier League teams as they gear up for the Aug 26 resumption of the Malaysia League (M-League), which has been suspended since March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After contact training was allowed from July 15-28, all the teams had undergone MFL assessment until Saturday to ensure there were no infections among the players and officials.

“The Super League and Premier League teams can have friendlies among themselves, provided that their officials and players have undergone swab tests and are confirmed to be free from the virus, as well as have obtained approval from MFL. The teams can also have friendlies with sides they have played against before the M-League was suspended,” he said.

Subsequently, the first friendly between Super League side Selangor and Premier League outfit Penang is set to take place at the SUK Field in Shah Alam on Wednesday.

Ab Ghani also said matches can only be held in stadiums or match venues which have been registered with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

“These stadiums must undergo disinfection processes before any matches are held. Only registered team officials and players, who have undergone swab tests, will be allowed into the stadium or match venues. The matches must be played without fans,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said the MFL will continue to monitor Kuching FA’s situation after five of its players were found to be Covid-19 positive from the Sentosa cluster. “For now, all five have been tested negative when they were screened in the hospital a few days ago. They have been transferred to the Youth and Sports Complex in Kuching, Sarawak. The hospital authorities will monitor them there, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

“As for the other players, they all tested negative in the first screening. The second screening will be conducted on Thursday and the team’s officials and players will end their quarantine on Aug 7,” he said.

He reminded all teams to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) set by MFL when they are playing, and the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health when they are away from competition venues so as to break the chain of Covid-19 infection. — Bernama