PETALING JAYA: The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) will allow teams playing in the M-League to use three import players next season.
However, FAM deputy president Tan Sri Annuar Musa said one of the three import players must be from an Asean country.
“Though the FAM has agreed to allow import players to feature in the M-League, a final decision will be made soon to enable teams to import only quality players,” he told reporters at Wisma FAM yesterday.
Annuar said the presence of import players would vastly contribute towards raising the level of the league as well as elevate the status of local players to be more competitive.
“I hope local players can compete against their foreign counterparts to improve the quality of the league and their own capabilities. It will also help attract the fans to the stadium.
“Their (import players) presence will also encourage and attract fans from the region and help promote football in the country,” he said.
The FAM had initially allowed foreign players to play in the M-League when Malaysian football turned Semi-Professional in 1989 but decided to end their services in 2009 due to numerous problems, including non-paid salaries.
Annuar added that the number of teams in the Super League competition would also be reduced from 14 to 12.
He said the FAM was in the process of revamping the M-League and expected to take about three years to complete the process that is aimed at lifting the status of Malaysian football to a higher level.
“I and a number of FAM council members will go to the states to find out problems faced by states, especially those involving stadiums and facilities. Such efforts will strengthen the league and fulfill the expectations of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC),” he said