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Melaka United to play three friendlies before M-League resumes

MELAKA, Melaka United have organised three friendly matches to assess the performance of the players ahead of the meeting against Perak on Aug 26, their first match on the resumption of the Super League which has been suspended since March 16.

Melaka United head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said the matches were important to enable his team to find the rhythm after the players returned to training on July 15.

“The training has gone smoothly since we are allowed to go down to the field. Although it was quite restricted due to the SOP (standard operating procedure) to curb the spread of COVID-19, the players adapted well to the requirements.

“Their performance was slightly affected because they have not played together for a long time, so I need to quickly find compatibility to form this team,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

The three friendly matches are against PDRM FA on Aug 8, UiTM FC on Aug 14 and Felda United FC on Aug 19.

The 2020 Malaysia League (M-League), which comprises the Super League and Premier League, will resume on Aug 26 but without spectators to comply with the SOP issued by the Malaysian Football League (MFL).


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Quickly find a coach, says national boxer


KUALA LUMPUR National boxer, Muhamad Fuad Mohd Redzuan, hopes a foreign coach for the national team will be picked promptly to allow the boxers to adjust to a new training method.

The 29-year-old from Negeri Sembilan said that since there are no international competitions at the moment, this is the best time to build the coach-team connection.

“I feel we will need up to six months to build the relationship and adjust to the person’s coaching skills and techniques. So the faster the person comes, the better,” he told reporters after a contract-signing between the national boxers and National Sports Council (MSN) in Keramat today.

He said he would prefer a coach from Uzbekistan or Cuba instead of Kazakhstan because they would have a broad set of techniques.

Earlier, Malaysian Boxing Association (PTM) deputy president, Mohd Iruan Zulkifli, said that a discussion is being held with MSN on the selection of a coach from a shortlist of four candidates from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cuba, which is expected to be finalised by mid-August.

Meanwhile, Muhamad Fuad, who switched from the 49kg category (which he has competed in for 11 years) to the 52kg category for a better chance of going to the Olympics, said he will have to work very hard to reclaim the gold medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

“I have to increase my stamina and strength, as well as improve my technique in this new category.

“At the same time, training and competitions abroad are very important to test my ability and suss out the opponent in this category,” he said.

Muhamad Fuad has competed in the SEA Games six times, beginning with Laos in 2009. He won the gold medal at the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games in 2017 but had to be satisfied with a bronze medal at the Philippines SEA Games last year.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Over 40 teams expected at KL Hockey League 2020

KUALA LUMPUR The Kuala Lumpur Hockey Association (PHKL) is in the midst of organising the Kuala Lumpur Hockey League 2020 and Veteran League Carnival in compliance with COVID-19 standard operating procedure (SOP).

“There will be three divisions – premier, 1 and 2 – and we hope to invite well-known teams like Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Maybank, besides clubs and teams from around Kuala Lumpur and other states,” said PHKL president, Datuk Seri Megat D. Shahriman Zaharudin, of the annual competition which will run from September to December.

He added at the press conference today: “With this league, we want to ensure the search for talent continues, players and clubs stay at the top of their game, and COVID-19 doesn’t wipe out hockey. However, everyone must comply with the new norms and SOP.”

He said the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium — where PHKL has its headquarters — will be the main venue for the league which has been organised since the 80s, with Tun Razak Hockey Stadium in Jalan Duta and National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil as additional venues.

He said the Veteran League Carnival scheduled for Aug 31 will be a one-day, six-a-side competition for two age categories: 40 – 47, and 48 and above.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Restrictions on sports activities in Penang to be lifted Wednesday

GEORGE TOWN In line with the announcement by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) the Penang government has allowed the organising of local tournaments for non-contact sports without an audience as well as carrying out sports and recreational activities including contact sports, beginning July 15.


State Youth and Sports Committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said following this, there would no longer be restrictions on operating hours for all sports activities in the state, subject to compliance with standard operating procedures set by KBS and the National Security Council (MKN).


“Operators must display the PG Care and Mysejahtera QR codes to be scanned by individuals before entering the premises. Operators must also register and fill out the information form, at ‘notification.miti.gov.my’,” he said.




Apart from that, Soon said the operating hours for activities such as Zumba, Line dance, QiGong and XiangGong would also no longer be limited from 7 am to 10 pm from Wednesday.




Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Johor confident of hosting best ever Sukma Games – MB

JOHOR BAHRU Johor is confident of hosting the best ever Malaysia Games (SUKMA) when the 20th edition of the biennial national multi-sport event takes place there next year.


Menteri Besar Datuk Ir Hasni Mohammad said this confidence stems from the commitment that has been put in to prepare the required venues and facilities.


Among them is the Johor Sports Complex that houses the shooting range, rugby field and track and field stadium.




“I think we are capable of hosting the best ever SUKMA. The only thing is that we hope, besides support from the athletes, is that the people will cooperate should standard operating procedures (SOPs) still apply by then,” he told reporters after a working visit to the Johor Sports Complex in Taman Mount Austin here today.


Also present were State Tourism, Youth and Sports Committee chairman Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi and State Education, Information, Heritage and Culture Committee chairman Mazlan Bujang.


Hasni said to date, almost all of the venues have achieved a 97 percent completion rate, with full completion expected before year-end.



In view of this positive development, he said Johor will face no issues if the event was brought forward from the currently set dates.


“We are ready but I feel the National Sports Council (NSC) and the (Youth and Sports) Ministry will soon fix an actual date, but for now we have been informed it is next year,” he said.


SUKMA Johor 2020 was supposed to be have been held this month, but was postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


So far, it has been slated for March 6-14, but this is still subject to further discussion at the Games’ Supreme Council meeting to be held in the near future.


Source: BERNAMA News Agency

Shahrul, Aidil bent on retaining starting spots in national team

KUALA LUMPUR National defensive stalwart Shahrul Mohd Saad won’t take his place in the national team for granted despite coach Tan Cheng Hoe saying he won’t make any drastic changes to the squad.


Another reason why Shahrul, who is also the Perak skipper, is worried about losing his starting spot is beause the whole Harimau Malaya squad have missed out on high-intensity action since the Malaysia League (M-League) was suspended following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) on March 18 to curb the spread of COVID-19.


With the national team chasing an automatic slot in the 2023 Asia Cup Finals, Shahrul, 27, knows he and his teammates will have to be in tip-top shape when the M-League resumes in September, with all the 12 Super League teams still having seven matches to complete their shortened fixtures.



“Every coach surely wants the best players for his team, especially during such trying times. So, he (national coach Cheng Hoe) has the right to pick whoever he wants. Until last November, I was the first choice but now I’m not too comfortable as it’s been a long time since I’ve played competitively.


“That’s why I need to stamp my mark on the game in the remaining seven matches so that I’ll remain in the national squad,” he said in a statement issued by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) today.


The 2020 M-League and all football activities nationwide have been suspended since March 16 and teams were also barred from holding any training sessions or friendly matches to comply with the government’s MCO.



Another national defender, Mohamad Aidil Zafuan Abd Radzak feels that the remaining matches in this year’s M-League will help the Harimau Malaya in the second round of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup qualifying campaign.


He said that it was important for players to regain their momentum, especially since they have been inactive for the last two months.


“I read recently that the coach had said that the M-League would help the national players regain their momentum but, at the same time, he also voiced his concern about the effect it would have on us if the league could not be resumed.


“Efforts to restart the M-League are coming along fine and we, the players, definitely want to see action but the priority must be on health and safety. I can’t be selfish, there are lots of aspects that need to be looked at to ensure the M-League can resume,” he said.


Mohamad Aidil, who stars for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Super League, said he had faith in Cheng Hoe’s tactical nous as well as his teammates’ capabilities for them to do well in the qualifiers despite the fact that national team would have only a short preparation time when the M-League resumes in September.


Based on the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) plans, which are subject world governing body FIFA’s approval, Malaysia are set to take on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai on Oct 8 before welcoming Vietnam to the National Stadium in Bukit Jall on Oct 13.


Malaysia are currently second in Group G in the second round 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup qualifiers after collecting nine points from five matches.


UAE are in fourth spot with six points, but with a game in hand, while Vietnam top the group with 11 points. Thailand are third (eight points) while Indonesia prop up the table without a point.





Source: BERNAMA News Agency

CMCO: Sports activities, dine-ins not allowed in Melaka

MELAKA The Melaka government is not allowing any sports activities to take place and restaurants to cater to dine-in customers during the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), which came into effect today.

Chief Minister Datuk Sulaiman Md Ali said that only the manufacturing industry was allowed to fully operate during the period and would have to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines set by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

“We allow the manufacturing industry to operate for 24 hours instead of 12 hours under the Movement Control Order (MCO) while other economic or social activities are not allowed at this time,” he told a press conference here today.

He said the decision was aimed at preventing more workers from losing their jobs especially in the manufacturing sector due to the losses suffered by the factories during the MCO period.

The operations of the economic sector including retail and other social sectors are being finalised and it will be decided by the COVID-19 special committee today and announced in one or two days, he added.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency