The Malaysian Football League (MFL) has annulled the 2020 TM Malaysia Cup competition, effective immediately following a special meeting on November 11.
Its Chief Executive Dato’ Ab Ghani Hassan stated that the MFL is obliged to adhere to the Malaysian national security council (NSC)’s prohibition to organise the Cup amidst the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) period until December 6.
The CMCO is enforced nationwide with the exception of the states of Perlis, Pahang and Kelantan.
“The NSC has advised the MFL to postpone the Cup to a date post-CMCO. In response to that, we have tabled a detailed SOP and plans as we have at least seven matches of the Cup to be completed by that time,” he said in a press statement.
With public health and security concerns alongside the NSC’s regulations, the league had to cancel this year’s Malaysia Cup with a heavy heart.
MFL was left with no other options as the year-end drew closer with possible consequent polemics – contract expiration by November 30, player shortage, and escalating costs, to name a few.
“The MFL wishes to thank the Malaysian Government for their approval to greenlit the resumed Super League and the Premier League recently. We also would like to thank all participating teams in the 2020 Malaysian League season, and to all our sponsors and partners,” he added.
Earlier, the MFL has prepared a special mechanism to organise Southeast Asia’s oldest cup competition in states not affected by the CMCO.
The detailed plan includes the application to utilise Sultan Mohamad IV Stadium in Kota Bharu and Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan for quarterfinals and semifinals.
For the record, the 2020 TM Malaysia Cup opened on November 6. Holders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) were joined by Kuala Lumpur, Pulau Pinang, UiTM FC, Kedah, Perak, Terengganu FC and Selangor in the quarterfinals.
The annulment of the Cup means the winner’s spot for the 2021 AFC Cup shall be granted to the third-placed Super League team, Terengganu FC as confirmed by Dato’ Ab Ghani.
“2020 has been a very challenging year for us with many unprecedented events and uncertainties. I hope everyone adheres to the SOP and together we can break the COVID-19 chain so we can expect to see greater football action by all teams next season,” he continued.
In related news, the Malaysian government ruled out JDT’s participation in Qatar for the remaining fixtures of their 2020 AFC Champions League (ACL) campaign.
JDT’s technical director Alistair Edwards has stated that the club accepted the government’s decision in favour of public health and concerns, albeit the disappointment.
The East Zone fixtures of the ACL is set by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to be played centrally in the Middle East, following the success of its West Zone fixtures recently.
The Bruneian | KUALA LUMPUR