Thursday, 1 December 2011

M-League to be revamped to get international recognition

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Deputy President Tan Sri Annuar Musa says the structure of the M-League need to be revamped so as to gain international recognition.

Annuar said weaknesses in the structure of the Malaysian football has resulted in players failing to make the grade and be recognised internationally.

"Many may not know that states and players who featured in the M-League are not eligible to play in the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Champions League.

"In Europe, our players do not qualify to play for clubs because the M-League is not managed professionally," he said in his speech at the 2011 National Football Awards here today.

Annuar said according to AFC's requirement in 2009, M-League must be a professional entity made up of clubs and state associations and compete in a league organised professionally.

"However, based on discussions with FAM's affiliates, management at club and state level remains unchanged and largely depend on yearly grants from FAM," he said.

He said if clubs and states failed to manage 'themselves' professionally, it would be evident from the quality of players churned out year in year out.

National players are the products of clubs and states while the quality or calibre of players would be a reflection of the local league, he said.

"That is why the best players in Malaysia are only an average player in Asia. The reason being our players fail to make the grade or break into clubs from Europe," he said.

Annuar cited the failure of Malaysia's best striker, Safee Sali, to earn a work permit to play in English Premier League (EPL) club Cardiff City in September.

The United Kingdom would only issue a work permit to players who wished to play for clubs in that country (UK), if they were from countries ranked among the top 70 in the FIFA World rankings.

Malaysia are currently ranked 146th in the FIFA World rankings.

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