Friday, 16 December 2011

FAM set to change format of M-League in 2013

 The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are changing the M-League format in a bid to improve the standard of football in the country.

The revamp next season will see the number of teams in the Super League reduced from 14 to 12 teams in 2013. The new Super League season will begin on Jan 10 and end on July 14.

“We want the Super League to have the highest standard in terms of quality, management and finance,” FAM competitions committee chairman Datuk Hamidin Amin said yesterday.

“The State FAs and clubs have agreed to the new format. We believe that if the quality improves in the Super League, it will surely improve the national team’s standard as well.”

The 2012 Super League will have 14 team and the last-placed team at the end of the season will be relegated to the Premier League while the Premier League champions will be promoted to the Super League.

The 10th, 11th and 12th-placed teams of the 2012 Super League and the 2012 Premier League runners-up will then meet in a playoff for the last spot in the 12-team 2013 Super League season. The losing teams of the playoff will play in the 12-team 2013 Premier League season.

The same applies for the Premier League with the last-placed team being relegated, while the seventh, eighth and ninth-placed teams playing in a playoff with the FAM League’s runners-up.
The two top finishers in the playoff and the FAM League champions will play in the Premier League.

However, Singapore Lions XII and Harimau Muda B will not be relegated from the Super League and Premier League respectively.

“This format will remain till 2016,” said Hamidin.

Meanwhile, the prestigious Malay­sia Cup will also see some changes to its format in 2013, with 24 teams competing for honours.

Previously, 16 teams – 12 from the Super League and the top four from the Premier League – took part in the Malaysia Cup, which began in 1921.

Under the revamp, the teams will be divided into six groups of four teams each. Each group champions and the two best second-placed teams will make the quarter-finals.

Hamidin said this was to ensure that all the players in the M-League are used. “We don’t want players getting paid if they are not playing,” he said.

“We don’t think that the increase in the number of teams in the Malaysia Cup will affect the prestige or quality of the tournament. The best team will still win it.”

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