Monday, September 26, 2011

MSL may be revamped

The Malaysian Super League (MSL) may be revamped – again.

MSL chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa is bent on implementing drastic changes as “Malaysian football is getting nowhere with the present set-up”.

And, if he has his way, Annuar wants it implemented next year although competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin had announced that the format for next year would stay the same – 14 teams in the Super League and 12 in the Premier League.

Annuar said it was painful to watch the national Under-22 squad going down tamely to Japan (2-0) in the opening game of the Asian Zone final round qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics in Fukuoka on Wednesday.

He added that the gulf in standard was glaring and showed that Malaysia were still far behind in Asia.
Annuar claimed that he had tried to implement the changes but did not get the support of the affiliates.

He said that the pathetic display of the pre-Olympic squad was proof that the domestic league had not benefited the local players.

“The Super League has to be more competitive, with four or five foreigners in each squad and the number of teams must be reduced to eight,” Annuar said during a Hari Raya open house at his residence in Kuala Lumpur, Saturday.

“The other teams can play in the Semi-Pro League and can only go up when they meet all the professional demands of the game.

“I think half the teams in the Super League now are unable to generate any fans or income from gate collections.

“It (the new league) has to be of high standard and with top foreign pros playing here.”

The national Under-22 boys from the Harimau Muda squad have featured in the Premier and Super Leagues and even had playing stints in Slovakia.

The boys have done well at the South-East Asia region, winning the SEA Games gold medal in 2009 and the Suzuki Cup Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championships in 2010. The MSL has undergone two format changes in its eight-year history.

When it was first launched in 2004, there were only eight teams in the Super League.
It was then expanded to 14 teams in 2007 and has since remained that way.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have now decided to open the door to the foreign legion after a lapse of three seasons.

Another notable change next year is the inclusion of the Singapore Young Lions (Under-23), who will play in the Super League. They will replace the Harimau Muda A squad, who will in turn play in the S-League.  - The Star.

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