Hopes of the M-League making an early return to competitive matches received a rude jolt with a firm ”NO” from Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The defense minister in his daily press briefing on the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country said the standard operation procedure (SOP under the movement control order (MCO) does not allow any gathering and this itself is a breach of regulation for a football match to be played.

The FA of Malaysia (FAM) and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) had high hopes of getting some leeway and requested a special request and a new SOP to resume the M-League which came to a halt on March 16 after the completion of only four matches.

“Football is not like badminton which is more of an individual game. Football is a team game with 22 players on the field and not forgetting the match officials,” said Ismail Sabri.

He further reminded that even after the MCO is over the ban on public gatherings will still be in force. This is another blow for the M-League unless the matches are played in empty stadiums and this too depending on the COVID-19 situation.

The NSC is formulating a new post-MCO SOP. RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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