Domestic matches may be adjusted to reduce congestion

Competition formats for the FA Cup and Malaysia Cup may be changed to reduce the fixtures congestion this season.

The M-League lost four weeks of play because the Covid-19 outbreak forced the FA of Malaysia (FAM) and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) to suspend all M-League activities after the government imposed the movement control order (MCO) from March 18 to April 14.

With the disruption, the FA Cup which is a knockout competition, may see the quarter-final rounds being played as a one-off match instead of the home and away format.And the Malaysia Cup which involves 16 teams in a group stage and two-legged knockout rounds, may end up playing a one-off knockout format.

The 2020 FA Cup is at the second-round stage and matches which were scheduled on March 17-18 have been cancelled while the Malaysia Cup is scheduled to begin in August.

There were calls to cancel the Malaysia Cup or the FA Cup but it will not go down well with their title sponsors.

MFL’s chief operating officer Mohd Shazli Shaik Mohd said they have several options following the MCO decision.

“I don’t think cancelling the Malaysia Cup or the FA Cup is the solution in dealing with the tight fixture schedule. We have obligations to the sponsors and the impact of calling off these competitions can be dire, ” said Shazli.

“With some adjustment to the fixtures, we can finish the season by the end of the year.

“We can change the formats for both Cup competitions. Another option is to play on public holidays and state holidays which we used to avoid doing previously.”

“However, everything depends on the government’s next move and we still have to wait for the MFL board of directors to decide on the best options.”

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