The Malaysia Cup will not continue and that closes the season for Malaysian football in 2020 following government’s rejection of MFL’s appeal.
The curtain will now come down on the 2020 football season in Malaysia after efforts to ensure that the remainder of the Malaysia Cup matches could be completed did not come to fruition. With large parts of the country in Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), the government has deemed that competitive football matches are not a priority at this point in time.
Malaysia Football League (MFL) tried in vain to persuade the government to change their minds, suggesting a centralised location to play out the remaining seven matches but it was to no avail. In a statement released on Thursday, MFL through its chief executive officer Dato Ab Ghani Hassan relayed the disappointing news.
“Firstly, MFL are always receptive to the suggestions from MKN and the government has suggested that we do not go on with the Malaysia Cup. Of course we have submitted a detailed appeal in line with the guidelines to ensure that the remaining seven matches could be played but alas we have to comply.
“Through a board meeting, we have to made the difficult decision of canceling the Malaysia Cup for the health and safety of all parties as suggested by the government. We needed to do this because we cannot postpone the competition to another month because players’ contracts normally end on Nov 30.
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“There were will be much more problems that will arise if we extend the date of the competition as teams could be without player on top of having to incur additional cost. In any case, on behalf of MFL, I would like to thank the government for allowing us to complete the Super League and Premier League,” said Ghani in his statement.
It was only last week that matches were still allowed to be played with eight Round of 16 matches completed but the continual Covid-19 cases has forced the governement’s hands to enforce a wider CMCO than the initial Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah restrictions.
This means that for the first time since 1947, there will be no Malaysia Cup champions. Having previously decided that the winner of the Malaysia Cup will take up one of the AFC Cup slots in 2021 because of the cancellation of the FA Cup, the slot now go to the third-placed team in the Super League which will be Terengganu FC.
The latest development adds to the further pain inflicted onto Malaysian football after Johor Darul Ta’zim was denied the opportunity to travel to Doha, Qatar for the AFC Champions League, bringing to an end a problematic 2020 season in Malaysian football.