KUALA LUMPUR, 10 Nov – The region’s oldest football competition – the Malaysia Cup which is into its 94th edition this year – is virtually on ”life support” after the National Security Council (NSC) postponed it indefinitely due to the rising Coronavirus cases in the country.
While the Malaysian Football League (MFL) has appealed to the respective authorities to let the competition, which has reached the quarter-final stage, the indefinite postponement came out of the blue.
The leagues were completed under strict SOP and the Malaysia Cup is also under strict SOP and it was smooth going so far with everyone playing their role to ensure the safety and health of those involved.
Everyday we are sure of getting unexpected “shocks” from the daily press conference from Senior Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who delivered the jolt on Saturday.
More often than not it is something new today and it will be something new tomorrow on the same topic from the veteran politician. This is confusing the people.
Do not make a blanket ruling for the sake of imposing a new rule. The least the NSC and the Health Ministry should have done was to consult the relevant football authorities and worked out a win-win situation – more so when the football season is coming to a close.
This is the time when the contract of the players and coaches usually come to an end. Some contracts end in November and some in December.
Did anyone give a thought or spared a thought for the players and the coaches whose livelihood depends on football?
Do not forget that some teams used Covid-19 as a ”major cover-up” not to pay the salaries of the players and other team officials.
Covid-19 became and has become the most “abused” word by many parties to deny payment.
Pahang (Darul Makmur Stadium, Kuantan) and Kelantan (Sultan Muhammed IV Stadium, Kota Bahru) are two of the states that have been spared the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the MFL has placed strict SOPs for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final to be played at the two said venues.
This is agreeable to all the teams that have reached the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals. Apart from the prestigious silverware, the champions will also get the ticket to the AFC Cup as the third team from Malaysia in the Asian meet.
For the record JDT has already qualified for the AFC Champions League as the Malaysian Super League champions while Kedah has qualified for the AFC Cup after finishing runners-up to JDT.
The quarter-final matches are between Johor Darul Takzim vs Kuala Lumpur; Kedah vs Selangor; Terengganu vs Perak and Penang vs UiTM.