KOTA KINABALU: Absurd is the best word to describe the Super League fixtures released by the FA of Malaysia to its affiliate members yesterday.
We could say it was done more just for the sake of doing it rather than helping the country’s top flight football action to regain its popularity among the Malaysian public.
Having too many breaks is just unthinkable, as it will not only affect the teams’ performances, but it would be hard to lure the fans to the stadium with such absurd fixtures.
We have been in the professional era for more than a decade now, but things such as the fixtures are still done the amateur way!
One ponders if FAM or rather whoever has been entrusted to do the job will ever learn from the past years.
In Sabah’s case, who will be making a return to the Super League after five years since their demotion to the Premier League in 2005, it could have been favourable fixtures, if not for the unnecessary breaks one could say.
Teams that fail to progress further beyond the first round of the knockout FA Cup competition are likely to suffer more.
As expected, the new season that was initially expected to start on January 15, will now kick off on January 29.
Barely after two games into the season where the second match has been set for Feb 1, the League will be taking a 10-day break for the Chinese New Year celebration and would only resume on Feb 12.
Sabah will mark their return by playing two away games, taking on Terengganu in a revised fixture, and not against Johor FC as reported earlier.
After the Terengganu date, they take on Kuala Lumpur before returning home and would play two consecutive home games against Kedah and Johor FC on February 12 and 15 respectively.
After the two League matches, Sabah would be away again, but this time they are on a FA Cup first round mission to Pahang that will be played on a one-leg format.
After the FA Cup tie, they would play two consecutive away games against Negeri Sembilan and Pahang on February 26 and March 1.
Upon their return, they would play a home game against Harimau Muda on March 12.
And if they fail to progress beyond the first round of the FA Cup where the second and quarter-final rounds of the competition are expected to be played, then Sabah will be having a 20-day break until their next game away to Terengganu’s T-Team on April 2.
This is the month where Sabah or rather all teams will play a total of nine games in the 30 days of April.
During the month, their other opponents are KL Felda United FC, Perak, Perlis, Kelantan, and Selangor (last first round game).