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PUTRAJAYA, March 8 -- The Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) will be tabling a spectator management protocol to the National Security Council (MKN) Technical Committee to obtain approval for the presence of football fans in the stadium.
Its Minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican is optimistic that local supporters would be able to return to witness the actions of their favourite teams soon if the ministry is able to convince MKN and the Ministry of Health (MOH) on the protocol.
He said the confidence was from watching the Malaysian Football League (MFL) and the teams involved in complying with the standard operating procedure (SOP) and the concept of sports bubble in the first week of the Malaysian League last weekend.
For a start, Reezal Merican said it would be implemented in one or two stadiums before being expanded to other stadiums which are venues for M-League.
"Obviously it requires a complete SOP. KBS has prepared the SOP, we will further study the mechanism with MFL on Thursday before being brought to MKN.
"In the initial stage, we are proposing at least 10 per cent of the actual capacity of the stadium or 4,000 people whichever is lower. The determination on the number of spectators will depend on the condition of the stadium involved such as the entrance and capacity,” he said when met by reporters at Menara KBS here today.
He said after the government has given its approval for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) as well as reopening cinemas which are even in more crowded condition compared to football stadiums, as such, the ministry is confident football fans would be getting the good news.
“We also look at the implementation in other countries such as the English Premier League (EPL) which uses the tier system while South Korea and Thailand allowed 25 pr cent (stadium capacity) and the highest is in Victoria, Australia which is 50 per cent while Italy allowed only 500. So I think 4,000 spectators would be in the middle,” he said.
The 2021 League campaign kicked off last Friday with defending champions, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) retaining the Charity Cup for the fourth consecutive time, after defeating Kedah Darul Aman FC (KDA FC) 2-0 at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, under the new norm.
Last Thursday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government might allow the presence of fans in the stadium on a small scale in stages if COVID-19 cases in the country dropped further.
In this regard, Reezal Merican said special permission was given to athletes who need to go abroad for competition or training as preparation for the Tokyo Olympics in July.