The season may be stopped abruptly due to the outbreak of the coronavirus but that all the teams still needed to complete their player registrations for the season. From the list that Malaysian Football League provided, here are 9 interesting facts.
AFC dominates as expected
A total of 27 countries are represented in the MSL this season with Malaysians occupying the bulk of it with 270 players or 82.3%. Together with players from Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, South Korea, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Japan, Uzbekistan, Iraq and Australia - Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has 12 representatives in the competition, the largest.
That is followed by Confederation of African Football (CAF) with seven countries which are Nigeria, Senegal, Liberia, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Namibia. There are also players from North and Central America and Caribbean, Europe and South America with Oceania the only confederation not repesented.
Counting on Brazilians
Among the 58 foreign players registered, Brazil leads the charge with 10 players namely Perak's Leandro dos Santos, Careca and Guilherme de Paula, Johor Darul Ta'zim's Mauricio and Kedah's Renan Alves. Next highest is Singapore with five players in Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin, Faris Ramli, Shakir Hamzah and Khairul Amri Kamal.
Probably from the most obscure of places are Haiti and Namibia, with Melaka's Sony Norde and Sabah's Petrus Shitembi both making their MSL bow this season.
Step aside Shukor
In the past seasons, Shukor Adan whilst still playing in the MSL was always the oldest player in the league but since he moved down to play in the Premier League, his top spot has been taken over by PJ City FC's P. Gunalan. The 39-year-old left back first started back in the 2001 season with Selangor and has since also played for PKNS FC.
Following closely behind are two 37-year-olds in Pahang's Helmi Eliza Elias and Selangor's Sandro da Silva.
Taking baby steps
From the oldest to the youngest, in this case that is age 18 where two players are entrusted into the spotlight by being registered by their respective clubs. Arif Aiman Hanapi made his senior JDT debut in the 1-1 draw against Felda United prior to the postponement of the league. While his peer Azrin Afiq Rusmini wears the colours of Selangor.
PJ City packing a big one
Minimum of 26 players were registered by teams with the maximum hitting 31, that is PJ City FC who are competing in their second season in the top flight. UiTM FC, Terengganu FC, Selangor, Perak and Felda United are the five teams who only registered 26 players. Reigning champions JDT have gone for 28 players.
Going wild with the jersey
If in the past, MFL has always ensured that teams follow sequential numbers on the back of the players' jersey, they have opened a bit more leeway in 2020, allowing players to adorn much bigger number. Two has taken it all the way in UiTM's Victor Nirennold and Kedah's Aminuddin Abu Bakar, who have both gone for the maximum which is number 99.
Small variance all around
While every team in the league has differences, this one will not be used to distinguished them - the average age of the squad. The age profile varies from 24 to 28 which in a way signals a nice balance in all the teams when it comes to marrying experienced players with younger ones in the squad.
Melaka leads this one at an average of 28.24 years with 10 of their players over the age of 30. While MSL newcomers UiTM FC are the lowest at 24.31 years with 13 of their players age 23 and below.Something they all share
One would think that the number 7 or 8 or 10 are common numbers in any team with players are pushing each other in the face to have that number on their back. But that is not the case for the MSL with only 1, 18, 19, 20 and 21 being the five numbers that are used by 12 teams in the league.
Among the oddities that appeared are that of JDT without a number 10, Selangor without a number 9 and Perak without a number 7 registered in their respective squads.
Who's the US vice-president in the house
Last but not least, it would seemed that a PDRM players share a name similar to that of the 46th vice-president of the United States. Richard Bruce Cheney or more commonly known as Dick Cheney served as the second in command under George W. Bush between 2001 and 2009.
The PDRM player in question is call Dick Cheny Waili, the 29-year-old midfielder definitely has got a powerful name.
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