JOHOR BAHRU, 11 Nov – It is a bitter blow to seven-time Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) when the government said the team will not be allowed to leave the shores for their AFC Champions League matches in Doha, Qatar later this month.
Senior Minister,  Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob delivered the “killer blow” during his daily media briefing during question time which stunned many.
This is the second blow for football in the country coming within days when the same minister announced that the Malaysia Cup has been told to take a break due to Covid-19.
JDT, winners of the AFC Cup in 2015 – the only Malaysian team to have achieved that – are in Group G and currently second in the table with three points from one win and one defeat after two matches.
The remaining matches are to be played in Doha with the Southern Tigers scheduled to face Guangzhou Evergrande on Nov 19, followed by a match against Suwon Bluewings (Nov 25), Vissel Kobe (Dec 1), and complete their fixtures against Guangzhou (Dec 4).
”Adhering to the SOP laid down by the government, JDT is barred from leaving the country. The ruling is still in force and as such the team (JDT) is barred from going to Doha. It is a no go for JDT,” said Ismail who also announced that the authorities have also shot down the appeal by the Malaysian Football League and the FA of Malaysia to make some leeway for the remaining Malaysia Cup matches be completed.
The Malaysia Cup is at the quarter-final stage -with JDT battling Kuala Lumpur, Kedah playing Selangor, Penang versus UiTM, and Perak against Terengganu – in the fight for a place in the last four.

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