Ismail Sabri. Photo: Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The 2020 Malaysian League (M-League) football competition, which has been suspended in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, may be allowed to resume by November, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said a “cooling off” period of one to four months was needed before the M-League could resume after the movement control order (MCO) is lifted.

“I understand that the M-League is scheduled to resume in June, which is too early. It may be too soon for the league to resume one or two months after the MCO is lifted.

“But if the MCO ends in June, it is possible for us to consider allowing the competition to resume in October or November under a standard operating procedure (SOP) like playing in empty stadiums and the like,” he told a daily press conference on the MCO here today.

Several countries including South Korea, Italy and Germany which have more Covid-19 cases than Malaysia have started easing the restrictions they placed on professional football activities.

Malaysia imposed the MCO on March 18 to curb the spread of Covid-19 and the order has been extended three times until May 12.

However, Ismail Sabri stressed that the government would seek the advice and guidance of the Health Ministry (MOH) before making a final decision on resumption of the M-League competition.

“Advice from MOH is still needed and after we have heard proposals from FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) and the Youth and Sports Ministry we will study the matter,” said Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister.

FAM and the Malaysia Football League (MFL) have postponed all football activities under their charge since March 16 following the Covid-19 outbreak.

On April 23 FAM confirmed sending an official application via the Youth and Sports Ministry to the National Security Council and MOH on the possible resumption of the M-League.

The two bodies said they are ready to resume the M-League after the MCO has ended. – Bernama