Sunday, April 23, 2006

FAM explains Malaysia's 2006-2007 competitions

Dato’ Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Omar, the vice-president of the FAM; HRH Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, the deputy president of the FAM and Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, the general secretary of the FAM.

The council of the Football Association of Malaysia has decided that its Super League 2006-2007 will have 14 teams participating. Dato’ Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad, the deputy president of the FAM said that the reason for these changes was not because of inconsistency in the policy of the national body but rather it was felt that playing three rounds of league matches currently is boring, the FAM website reported.

“The views from the state FAs and clubs from the recent brainstorming is that playing three rounds in the league is not only boring but also not financially beneficial,” said Dato’ Redzuan, who is also the chairman of the FAM Technical Committee. “The recommendations from the Competitions Committee were discussed at length where today after fine-tuning certain aspects of it; the Council accepted these suggested changes.”

The top six teams of the Super League will remain alongside the two promoted teams from the Premier League for a total of eight teams. The remaining six positions will then be decided via qualifiers between the seventh and eighth teams in the Super League and the second (A2 and B2), third (A3 and B3) and fourth (A4 and B4) teams in either divisions of the Premier League. The eight teams concerned will then be divided into two groups for the qualifiers to decide which three teams from each group which will make up the remaining six teams to play in the Super League 14 teams.

“We have not made the decision yet but it is likely that the qualifiers will be played during the World Cup month,” said Dato’ Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, the general secretary of the FAM, ass quoted by the website.

Although the Super League and the Premier League 2006-2007 season will have 14 teams each – where four teams from the current FAM Cup season will be promoted into the Premier League which will have only one division next year – there will however be changes to the FAM Cup for the new season.

Dato’ Seri Ibrahim said that only state FAs which have on-going leagues will be allowed to send a team to the FAM Cup competition for the 2006-2007 season. “Unlike the current situation where we accept all representatives from the state FAs, for the new season we have stressed on the need for the state FAs to have running leagues otherwise, they will not be allowed to take part,” he added.

Other decisions reached at the FAM Council meeting are:

- the Malaysia Cup 2006-2007 season will have 18 teams taking part which will be divided into three groups. It will comprise of the 14 state teams, plus ATM and PDRM and the two top clubs. The Malaysia Cup campaign will start after the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

- the Premier League final for the 2005-2006 season will be held on June 10th, 2006 to make way for the closing ceremony of the SUKMA Games in Kedah.

- from next season onwards, there will be no more part-time coaches in either divisions of the Super League or the Premier League.

- there will be three (3) imports for the Super League but only two (2) for the Premier League.

- all matches for the 2006-2007 season will begin at 8pm while for the fasting month, there will be two matches being played.

- there will be no cooling-off period for imports already playing in Asean countries wanting to play in the Malaysian League although for those currently plying their trade in Malaysia, there is a one year cooling-off period.

- the minimum salary for players has been increased from RM1,500 to RM2,000 a month – there is no maximum set.

- two top clubs will be given direct affiliation to the FAM where they can sit in the Council and have voting rights.

- in the draw for the semi-finals of the TM-FA Cup, Negeri Sembilan NAZA has drawn Pahang while for the Singapore Under-23 team, it has drawn Perlis (pic). The first leg will be held on April 29th, 2006 while the return leg will be on May 13th, 2006.

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