Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) will have to give their continued challenge in the AFC Champions League 2020 in Doha, Qatar a miss after the Malaysian government refused to make an exception to international travel.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Senior Minister for Security delivered the news this afternoon at the daily COVID-19 briefing.
“The policy is the same and that the border is still closed. Foreigners are not allowed in and Malaysian citizens are not allowed out of the country,” said Ismail.
“We do not know what is the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) which is in place in other countries. So football teams will not be allowed to travel as afterall even Ministers are not allowed out.”
JDT were supposed to leave for Qatar this week as the AFC look to create a bubble for the AFC Champions League (East) – from 18 November to 13 December 2020 – following the successful hosting of teams from the West recently.
JDT are currently second in Group G with three points from two matches played – three points behind leaders Vissel Kobe from Japan.
“While JDT are extremely disappointed in not being able to participate in Asia’s highest club competition and the Malaysia Cup, we respect the decision by the Malaysian Government and understand that such safety measures need to be enforced due to the rising cases of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Alistair Edwards, JDT Technical Director.
“The well-being of everyone — including the JDT squad that would have travelled to Doha — is a priority. We pray and hope that the world can overcome the pandemic ahead of the 2021 season.”