FAM, MFL seek early COVID-19 vaccination for players, officials

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA):  The FA of Malaysia (FAM) and Malaysian Football League (MFL) have sent in application to the government to seek early COVID-19  vaccination for some 2,500 players and officials, who are at the elite level, for the survival of the Malaysia League (M-League).


FAM president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said the intiative was taken following discussions with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and the Health Ministry so as to get local players and officials to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

“FAM and MFL representatives have met ministers Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (MOSTI) and Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (KKM) on the need to have these players and officials vaccinated as soon as possible. Possibly after frontliners and other priority groups get their shots.

“We are praying that this can be done so that Malaysian football can forge ahead with greater confidence for the survival of the M-League,” he said in a video conference with the media today.

Malaysia is scheduled to receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech tomorrow.

The rollout of the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme for frontlines and other priority groups is scheduled to take place from Feb 26.

At the same time, Hamidin, who is also MFL president, said FAM and MFL will ensure that all teams in the M-League comply with the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb COVID-19 for the smooth running of the league so that down the road, fans could return to stadiums.

“If all goes well, perhaps in two or three more months we would like to see fans back at stadiums, at least at 10 per cent capacity,” he said.

Meanwhile, commenting on the remaining second leg Group G matches of the 2022 World Cup/ 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers which will be held in June, Hamidin said FAM were not ready to be the hosts of the competition which will be held in carnival form (at one location and not on home and away basis).

He explained that among the five countries in the group (Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)and Vietnam),  UAE were most suited to be hosts as almost its entire population had received COVID-19 vaccination apart from having very systematic SOPs to contain the pandemic.

We leave it to the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) to decide on the best venue and we are very committed to complete our three remaining matches (in Group G),” he added.– BERNAMA

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