Malaysian football fans could brace for an exciting development as the Malaysian Football League (MFL) is considering submitting an application to enable fans to attend games at stadia to the National Security Council (NSC) in near future.

Its newly-elected president Dato’ Ab Ghani Hassan opined that fans who have completed two vaccination doses should be given an exception to attend, albeit with limited number of spectators’ capacity for the early stage.

FILE PHOTO: Malaysian supporters at the Shah Alam Stadium. Image: Shutterstock

“Foreign leagues such as the English Premier League (EPL) have seen fans coming into stadiums in large numbers. In this case, I am all for submitting a request to allow our fans to attend games.

“This relaxation involves those who have completed their two vaccination doses and must produce the digital vaccination certification from their MySejahtera application, along with their ticket at the gate.

“This measure is taken to appease the fans and provide them the opportunity to cheer their teams after being denied to attend the games due to the restrictions. The MFL will only ask for the similar percentage of fans as per previous arrangement, and could be increased if the situation improves.

“We hope that the NSC will consider our application,” he said during his first press conference as MFL president, on Wednesday.

Under a strict standard operating procedures, previously only 10 per cent or 2,000 fans, whichever higher are allowed to attend the games held at areas governed under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). 25 per cent or 8,000 fans were allowed for areas under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Despite the league resuming on July 24 following the Phase 1 of the Overall Movement Control Order, fans are not permitted to attend.

In related news, Ab Ghani hoped that there will be no more infection cases among players as the league’s movement and traveling arrangements are controlled by the NSC. The MFL, through the Sports Ministry, is attempting to persuade the NSC to allow only players affected by Covid-19 to undergo tests and quarantine, not the whole squad. This emulates similar measures taken by other foreign leagues.

“The number of positive cases among players could heavily affect the fixtures as the MFL is forced to postpone the league up until 14 days, plus an additional seven days to enable teams to train. This has already affected Kedah Darul Aman FC by postponing five games, whereas for seven for Kuching City FC.

“This is complicated for the MFL and to other teams. We have issued a stern warning to all teams to maintain SOPs and players must be responsible for their actions.

“Following that, the MFL have submitted a letter requesting for only infected players are to be quarantined. Unfortunately, our letter was rejected on the grounds of high cases indexed at present.

“In due course, the MFL will resubmit for application as most teams have been fully vaccinated. We hope that both teams and fans can again make the Malaysian League exciting with relaxed regulations from the NSC.”

This article was first published on 21 August 2021 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 155

THE BRUNEIAN | KUALA LUMPUR

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