Back on the May 1 2020, Malaysian Football League put out a tentative date of September 1 of restarting the Super League (MSL) and Premier League (MPL), cutting down the league fixtures to half from 22 matches to 11 matches which culminates in the final league match being played on the last weekend of September.
With the MSL and MPL both only had four rounds of matches played, that means a remaining seven rounds of fixtures must be completed in order for the competition to come to an end. That is seven matches in approximately 26 days - a game every three to four days.
A taxing schedule for the players and teams in an unusual season with restrictions on the kind of preparations teams can do with reference to friendly maches. But a fast improving situation surrounding curbing the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in Malaysia has seen individual traning being allowed back in football starting June 15.
The continuous improvements shown following outstanding work by the Malaysian government and Health Ministry has seen a relaxed Movement Control Order (MCO) and now the Sports Minister, Reezal Merican has stated that he will bring to the table a proposal for team sports to begin contact trainining as early as the middle of July.
All of which points towards the professional game in Malaysia being allowed to resume as quickly as early August, which brings forward the initial plan proposed by MFL by a full month. Provided the format of only playing out 11 matches per team is maintained, that should give MFL the chance to schedule the matches further apart and give teams more time to train.
As can be seen with the return to action in big Euroepean leagues like the German Bundesliga and English Premier League, players are susceptible to injuries because the body is still adapting to change and the perils of a pre-season training minus the chance to ease themselves back into the best conditions via friendly matches.
The possibility of a more reasonable schedule instead of a punishing one where the players are asked to play every three days for four consecutive weeks - will be very helpful for when Tan Cheng Hoe calls up his squad by the end of September to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers against United Arab Emirates (Oct 8) and Vietnam (Oct 13).
"It's a good sign that the league could start back earlier. Definitely have time so that the league won't have to squeeze such a tight schedule. In my opinion, if the league start in August, then it will definitely help the national team that the players have time to adapt and recover," Cheng Hoe told Goal.