PLAYERS from Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei will no longer be considered
foreign pros when they turn out for local clubs in the inaugural M-League,
if a proposal is adopted by the FA of Malaysia.
This suggestion is one of several to be discussed when the FAM council
meet in Kuching on Friday, said general secretary Datuk Paul Mony.
"The proposal is to allow free movement of players among the three
countries without categorising them as foreigners," said Mony.
Singaporeans playing for Malaysian States have been considered foreign
players, using up therefore the three foreign pros quota. Players like
Fandi Ahmad, Malek Awab, K. Kannan (Kuala Lumpur), V. Sundram Moorthy
(Kedah) and Ahmad Paijan (Terengganu), among others, have played for
Malaysian teams before.
Except for Ahmad, the others have returned to Singapore. However, Johor
signed on Hasnim Haron this season while Armed Forces had A. Devaraj and
It should be pointed out that several seasons ago, Singaporeans with
permanent resident status weren't considered foreign players. That rule
was amended to categorise them as foreigners.
The proposal opens a new avenue for Malaysian players, especially those
who could be offered contracts by Singapore and Brunei. It was felt that
since the two countries are part of the Malaysian soccer system, the
foreign status should not be imposed on them.
Other proposals made by the secretaries include:
* CONSIDER shelving the FA Cup next season because of the hectic League
* FOREIGN players will have to miss a season when they move from one
Malaysian team to another.
Mony said States are concerned about over-taxing the players if the FA
Cup is held simultaneously with the League.
"Under the new format, the 16 teams will play 30 matches. That's an
average of six matches a month. As such, the FA Cup will be a burden,"
Mony pointed out.
There is fear if the FA Cup is enforced, the States may not use their
regulars, thus depriving the competition of the glamour. It was suggested
the League be monitored next year before considering the viability of re-
introducing the FA Cup in 1995.
Besides, there will be more time from 1995 onwards as the fasting month
will be earlier.
The competitions committee are, however, in favour of the FA Cup. They
are expected to make alternative suggestions.