MFL eyes return of fans to stadium for 2021 season

Super League

MFL eyes return of fans to stadium for 2021 season

Johor Darul Ta'zim fans

Sports Regime

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The local fans only got to taste the atmosphere and excitement of supporting their favourite teams in their respective stadiums for three round of the 2020 Super League season before Malaysian Football League (MFL) announced that matches will be played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia.

Now plans are afoot to look into the possibility of fans being allowed back into the venues in stages and in accordance to governmental guidelines, taking their cues from what is happening around the world in other leagues like the Premier League in England.

A meeting was held yesterday to kickstart the discussion led by MFL and attended by the Sports Ministry and National Sports Council. They will form the taskforce in charge of preparing the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for a domesitc travel bubble to local organised competition.

“This is the first meeting of the taskforce and we have raised the issue of SOP concerning local football competitions. Among the things discussed was how many fans can be allowed back into the stadium at various stages of the 2021 season as well as the SOP on playing in green zones if it involves another team from the red zone.” said Dato Ab Ghani Hassan, the chief executive officer of FAM.

Sports Regime https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/3f/2/fadzrul-danel-leandro-dos-santos-perak-v-kedah-super-league-11-oct-2020_1tsxln2yqilqj1mb7y22qj5wtm.jpg?t=468401357&w=500&quality=80

The larger discussion was held over the organisation of local competition especially after the 2020 Malaysia Cup had to be cancelled because the Malaysian government denied MFL’s application to hold matches even with the right SOP in place.

With the situation in dfferent from one town to another, there might be a situation where a fixture pits a team from a non-restricted zone against a team from a restricted zone, where traveling in and out of the restricted zone was not allowed, which was one of the major reasons for the cancellation of the Malaysia Cup.

MFL and the respective governmental ministries will have to come up with an agreed SOP on how to proceed in such a case as well for other situations like if a certain number of players are tested positive – on where the limits are that a fixture can still go on.

But it is a good sign that MFL are already thinking about getting fans back in, even if it was just a couple of hundreds to start with.