KUALA LUMPUR: The restructuring of the Malaysia League (M-League) involving the Super League from the 2023 season may well mark the beginning of the rise of the national football industry to a higher level.
Sri Pahang Football Club chief executive Datuk Mohammed Suffian Awang said this will not only lead to the production of more professional players but also the added value of local players.
He added that based on the image portrayed by the Malaysian Football League (MFL), Malaysia was currently seen as lagging behind countries like Japan, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
He said these three countries each have a highly professional domestic league while the clubs competing in the leagues are also at a very high level.
“It will certainly lead to higher costs, but I think the MFL has plans with its strategic partners to discuss how we can overcome the financial problem,” he said at the third extraordinary general meeting of the MFL.
At yesterday’s meeting, the MFL confirmed that the M-League revamp will see 18 teams compete in the Super League while the Premier League will be temporarily on hiatus from the 2023 season.
The restructuring would also see the introduction of a Reserve League from next season, with the 18 teams involved in the 2023 Super League being required to field an Under-23 team each, in addition to the addition of the FAM-NSC Project Squad as the 19th team. .
The revamp, among other things, will provide more playing time and more competitive matches for players, in addition to increasing the commercial value of the domestic league, thereby benefiting all parties.
The M-League revamp will also see each Super League team play 34 games per season from 2023, up from just 22 games currently.
“Sri Pahang welcomes this decision. Insya-Allah, with this new structure, we will get better quality matches and ensure that we produce the best homegrown players for the national team,” said Mohammed Suffian.
Speaking about the Reserve League which will be introduced next season, he said it will benefit the development of young players on their way to entering the main team competing in the Super League.
“It will help in the maturity of the players, who previously played at the Under-21 and Under-23 levels and, thus, help in their development to be absorbed into the main team,” he said. . – Bernama