Image: www.malaysianfootballleague.com

Following the Malaysian government’s announcement on the Recovery Movement Control Order recently, football activities in the country can now be resumed gradually.

This was further boosted by progressive discussions held between government authorities and related sporting organisations to conduct contactless sport training programs.

Under improvised strict standard operating procedures (SOP) as regulated by the authorities, all teams are permitted to restart regular training sessions at club facilities, compared to individual training at home.

According to the Malaysia Football League (MFL) Chief Dato’ Abdul Ghani Hassan, all teams competing in the Super League and Premier League are required to follow four new steps as indicated by the National Security Council, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Youth and Sports, falling which may lead to SOP violation.

In a statement, he hopes that all the teams will cooperate and adhere to the SOPs to ensure all training can be conducted effectively as well as minimizing the spread of the pandemic.

The first two are crucial steps. The first mandates all players and officials to undergo the COVID-19 swab test, where the results must be certified by the team doctor and submitted to the authorities and MFL.

Secondly, teams must hire a coordinating officer to monitor the compliance of the SOP at the team level.

The other two steps require the clubs to name their closed-area training centres, which means all training must be conducted indoors, and lastly must register the venues to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry.

The indoor training and the stated steps are part of the first-phase training. In due time, as the number of new cases continues to decline and more improvement in rehabilitation, phase two of the training can be conducted that includes contact training.

The Malaysian League was halted since March 2020 as the government imposed the movement control order. Under the current recovery phase, the total restriction is expected to be lifted on 31st August 2020, coinciding with the National Day.

As announced earlier, the resumption of the league will tentatively start on 1st September 2020 to complete the remaining seven fixtures until month-end, with the annual Malaysia Cup competition is slated to start in October 2020. All matches are to be played behind-closed-doors.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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