M-League teams take advantage of MKN ruling to get cracking
KUALA LUMPUR — Some of the Malaysia League (M-League) teams took full advantage of the easing of training restrictions by the National Security Council (MKN) today to get cracking ahead of the start of the 2021 season on March 5.
With the teams’ preparations affected by the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) 2.0 on Jan 13, permission was granted for them to undergo training via the sports bubble concept beginning today, whereby all players and officials are required to undergo swab tests before entering the bubble once cleared of COVID-19 infection until the end of the league competition.
Once in the bubble, they must comply with either the camp-based or home-based quarantine approach as stipulated by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) and their respective teams. They will not be allowed to leave the quarantine or mix with individuals outside the bubble.
Super League outfits Selangor FC, Pahang FC and Petaling Jaya (PJ) City FC resumed training sessions today after the swab tests of all those involved in the teams returned negative.
Selangor FC manager Mahfizul Rusydin said they’ve opted for the home-based quarantine approach for all their players and officials, adding that they would all be required to undergo COVID-19 screening once a week to ensure their safety and health.
“They are responsible for taking care of their respective bubbles, where they are not allowed to receive visitors or leave the house for no reason. For those whose spouses are working, they (spouses) will be allowed to leave home for work and return. They are encouraged to purchase their basic necessities online.
“We are arranging several friendlies as preparation for this season’s Super League. So far, we have one lined up and it will be held behind closed doors this weekend,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
Meanwhile, Pahang FC chief executive officer Datuk Mohammed Suffian Awang said they would place their squad in a camp-based quarantine in Temerloh from tomorrow ahead of their friendly matches against Kelantan United and Negeri Sembilan FC next week.
“The players and officials have already undergone COVID-19 screening, as is our usual practice. They will also comply with stricter standard operating procedures (SOPs) as we want to help the government curb the spread of the pandemic,” he explained.
PJ City FC head coach P. Maniam, meanwhile, said his team began their training session this morning, with the focus on light and physical training to prevent any injuries.
He said most of the players were excited to resume training, adding that the team planned to hold three friendlies against Selangor C2, PDRM FC and another team.
“All the players have undergone (COVID-19) tests, while the management has also asked all family members living under the home-based quarantine to also undergo tests to avoid the risk of infection,” he said.
In Ipoh, Perak Football Association (PAFA) vice-president Datuk Mohammad Yadzan Mohamad did not rule out the possibility of holding training via camp-based quarantine for the Perak FC squad.
“It will reduce the risk of infection and I feel that with this approach, the players will be more focused on training minus outside distractions,” he said, adding that they may also hold a friendly with Perak FC II.
UiTM FC, together with Melaka and Negeri Sembilan FC, have also completed their COVID-19 screenings and are expected to resume training soon, once they get the green light from the MFL.
Last season’s Super League runners-up Kedah Darul Aman (KDA) FC, Penang FC and Kelantan United (KUFC) only completed their swab tests today and are confident they would be able to start training once they get the go-ahead from the MFL.