2021 FA Cup cancelled, deferred to March 5

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Football League (MFL) has cancelled the 2021 FA Cup and deferred the start of the Malaysian League (M-League) to March 5 due to the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) in the country. MFL chief executive officer Datuk Ab Ghani Hassan said the FA Cup was dropped from this year’s calendar to avoid burdening teams with a tight competition schedule which might affect the quality of the M-League. The MCO will be in force until Feb 4 in all states except Sarawak, where only certain…

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Chelsea sack Lampard, Tuchel to take charge

LONDON: Chelsea sacked manager Frank Lampard on Monday after 18 months in charge, with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel hotly tipped to replace him at Stamford Bridge. Lampard signed a three-year deal in July 2019, leading Chelsea to the FA Cup final and a fourth-placed Premier League finish in his first season in charge. Lampard’s legendary status at Stamford Bridge was not enough to save him after a run of form which has seen Chelsea slide to ninth in the Premier League, five points below Liverpool in fourth place despite…

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Norizam Tukiman has ended his feud with the FAM & MFL

KELANTAN FC owner Norizam Tukiman has ended his feud with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) following a closed-door meeting at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Friday. The three parties were caught in a bitter exchange following a media report claiming that Kelantan FC could be docked three points over players’ salary arrears. Enraged  Norizam then raised several issues, which includes the payment of the M-League broadcasting rights and unpaid referees’ allowances. Norizam added: “The squad will likely be unveiled next month.” The new…

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Malaysia's rivals agree to showdown

Four of the five teams in Malaysia’s Group G of the pre-World Cup have agreed to shift their matches from March to June. The teams are Indonesia, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Malaysia, who proposed the change. Covid-19 struck conditions has forced the Asian Football Confederation have encouraged the countries to discuss and reach a consensus on suitable dates for the remaining World Cup qualifiers. FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said yesterday Indonesia, Thailand and UAE had responded positively to Malaysia’s suggestion to move the matches to June. FAM…

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TMJ admits preferring polo over football

JOHOR:-Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim interacted with fans in a Q&A session on social media yesterday. The topics ranged from football to his personal life. Though the Johor Crown Prince is known for the rise of JDT, he admitted to preferring polo to football. To another question, the former FAM president said Hariss Harun is his favourite Singaporean footballer. He posted a gif indicating a crazy, nonsensical person when asked what he thought of his former player, Jorge Pereyra Diaz. Tunku Ismail is also a believer…

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Aston Villa battled in vain at The Etihad

Aston Villa battled in vain at the Etihad but Man City won it with just over 10 minutes to go thanks to Bernardo Silva and, in stoppage time, Ilkay Gundogan. On a soaking-wet night in Manchester, Villa’s first-team defended for their lives on their return to match action for the first time since New Year’s Day. Head coach Dean Smith, who was sent off following Silva’s strike, drafted Ross Barkley back into his team prior to kick-off following the loan ace’s return to fitness after 60 days away. At the…

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Arsenal pile more misery on Newcastle

LONDON: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang returned to scoring form with a double as Arsenal’s rise up the Premier League table continued with a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle on Monday. The Gunners were facing an unlikely battle for survival less than a month ago, but 13 points from a possible 15 have lifted Mikel Arteta’s men into 10th and within seven points of the top four. Despite Aubameyang doubling his tally of league goals from open play this season, it was again Arsenal’s dynamic young duo of Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo…

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Mason Mount brings Chelsea back on track

LONDON: Mason Mount put Chelsea back on track with the late winner that sealed a vital 1-0 victory at 10-man Fulham, while Leicester moved up to second in the Premier League thanks to a 2-0 win over Southampton. Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was under pressure after just one win and four defeats in their previous six matches that saw the Blues kick-off at Craven Cottage down in 10th. But Chelsea got the break they needed when Fulham defender Antonee Robinson was sent off just before half-time for a rash challenge…

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Man United face title test in Liverpool

LONDON: Manchester United’s bid to win the Premier League for the first time in eight years will face a major test when the leaders face champions Liverpool on Sunday. With points certain to be dropped by one of the title contenders at Anfield this weekend, third-placed Manchester City can climb back into the race. Slumping Chelsea has been forced to put their own title ambitions on hold after a woeful run that must be arrested soon to take the pressure off boss Frank Lampard. Manchester United head to Anfield knowing…

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Andy Murray tests positive to coronavirus, a setback to Australian Open

Former world No.1 Andy Murray has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus just as he was preparing to fly to Australia in preparation for the country’s Open. He was supposed to fly Down Under in the coming days, where he would have isolated for two weeks ahead of the Australian Open on February 8 in Melbourne. Murray has not competed in Melbourne since the tournament sent him off with a retirement ceremony in 2019 when he was on the verge of ending his career due to a hip injury. He withdrew…

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