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Malaysia, Philippines suspend domestic leagues due to COVID-19; Closed door matches in Singapore

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The spread of coronavirus is continuing to affect footballing activities across the globe with Malaysia and Philippines joining the list of countries to suspend their domestic league while matches will be held without fans in Singapore 

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has announced that it is suspending all football competitions in the country, including its top division Malaysia Super League after the completion of matches to be played on Saturday and Sunday, due to the COVID-19 situation.

“This is in line with the Health Ministry’s advice to avoid all mass gatherings. Safety is paramount and our goal is to avoid the spread of the virus among players and officials,” FAM president Hamidin Amin was quoted as saying.

The Philippines Football League (PFL) have postponed the start of the new season from March 21 to a tentative date of April 18.

“In view of the continuing spread of COVID-19, which prompted the Government’s Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to issue Resolution No. 11 on 12 March 2020, which raised the Alert Level to Code Red Sub-Level 2 and, among others, placed the entire National Capital Region under community quarantine for 30 days and prohibited mass gatherings, the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and PFL have decided to postpone the PFL kick-off originally scheduled on 21 March 2020 to 18 April 2020 tentatively,” it said.

“Utmost priority must be accorded to the safety, health, and welfare of the players, coaching staff, match officials, sponsors, and others who are involved in the organisation of the matches,” said the PFF and PFL in a joint statement.

READ   AFC Cup 2020 ASEAN Zone Match Day 3: The Top 5

Meanwhile, the Singapore Premier League (SPL) fixtures will proceed as scheduled, but they will take place behind closed doors.

“Following the Ministry of Health’s advisory released regarding ticketed sports events in light of the COVID-19 situation, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has taken the decision for the current SPL fixtures to proceed as scheduled, but to be played behind closed doors till further notice,” FAS said.

“Precautionary measures and protocols established earlier in February will remain in place for all players, officials and the match-day workforce involved in the matches,” they said in a statement.

“While the decision for matches to be played behind closed doors was not made lightly, the well-being of the football family and wider public is our top priority,” FAS added.

READ   Hosts Philippines run Cambodia close but bow out despite 6-1 win over Timor-Leste in SEA Games 2019

Thailand had earlier decided to postpone the Thai League ties from March 3 to April 17.

(Photo credit: Geylang International FC)

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Asia

Cambodia suspend all football tournaments across country to combat COVID-19

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Cambodia has become the latest country in Southeast Asia to suspend all footballing activities including the 2020 Cambodian League season due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Several countries from ASEAN including Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines have suspended their domestic leagues in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus while countries like Singapore and Myanmar had decided to play behind closed doors.

Cambodia were the only country to have their domestic league running in full steam in the midst of the global pandemic, but they have now decided to suspend all tournaments until further notice.

“The Football Federation of Cambodia (FFC) inform the public that in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the FFC have decided to postpone the 14th Hun Sen Cup, Metfone Cambodian League 2020 and the U-16 National Championship, U-18 National Championship and the delay of the 2020 General Assembly of the Football Federation of Cambodia until further notice,” the FFC said.

READ   Hosts Philippines run Cambodia close but bow out despite 6-1 win over Timor-Leste in SEA Games 2019

The 2020 season of the Cambodian League has already completed five rounds of matches with Phnom Penh Crown FC leading the table with 13 points. Defending champions Preah Khan Reach Svay Rieng FC also have the same number of points, but are second on goal difference.

The Hun Sen Cup, meanwhile, is the country’s domestic cup competition that is split into two stages. The provincial stage featuring clubs from the lower division was held in February, but the national stage during which the top division clubs were to join the competition now stands suspended.

(Photo credit: Visakha FC)

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Former Myanmar national team captain Yan Aung Kyaw to retire at the end of 2020 season

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Yangon United and Myanmar veteran midfielder Yan Aung Kyaw has announced that he will retire from professional football the end of the 2020 season. 

A former captain of the Myanmar national team, Aung Kyaw made his debut for the Asian Lions in 2011 and has won over 60 international caps for the Southeast Asian nation during his career.

He also won a bronze medal for Myanmar at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games while also winning five domestic league titles and three General Aung San Shields with Yangon, the club he has represented since its formation in 2009 along with the Myanmar National League (MNL).

“I previously spoke about my future and mentioned that I will not play for another MNL club against my team Yangon United and another reason is my age. Although I could play one or two more years, I don’t want to play for another club after my contract with Yangon ends in December,” he told Myanmar Times.

Aung Kyaw also hinted that he will move into coaching after retirement and that Yangon United has offered him the opportunity to work at the club.

READ   Revealed: Crazy reason why Juventus star Mario Mandzukic’s transfer to Qatar club Al Rayyan fell through

“I want to thank to my team president and all the team’s staff including my teammates. They supported me very well and the team has been very good to me. Of course the fans have also always been supportive,” Aung Kyaw added.

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Stephanie Catley scores winner as Melbourne City edge Sydney FC 1-0 in W-League Grand Final

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Melbourne City FC edged Sydney 1-0 in the 2019-20 W-League Grand Final at the AAMI Park in Melbourne to claim their fourth domestic championship title in five years. 

Wing-back Stephanie Catley scored the only goal of the game in the 15th minute through the hands of goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe to defeat last season’s winners Sydney in the Grand Final which was held without the involvement of spectators to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Melbourne City had qualified for the Finals series by finishing top of the 2019-20 W-League regular season with 34 points from 12 matches while Sydney FC had finished third with 22 points.

Melbourne Victory had finished second in the regular season with 23 points while Western Sydney Wanderers took the fourth and final slot in the knockout stages by collecting 22 points.

In the semifinals that were also played behind closed doors, Sydney had edged Victory 1-0 to qualify for the Grand Final while Melbourne City had thrashed Western Sydney Wanderers 5-1.

Melbourne City had won the W-League Grand Finals in three consecutive season starting 2015-16 before Sydney emerged victorious last season by defeating Perth Glory 4-2.

READ   Malaysia get first win after 4-0 defeat of Timor-Leste in SEA Games men’s football

(Photo credit: Melbourne City FC)

Read more: A-League, the show goes on but complaints about quarantine

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