Starting next year, state football associations (FAs) will organise youth leagues in a bid to further strengthen the sport at the lower levels.
It is understood that the FA of Malaysia (FAM) is expected to make the announcement later this month.
At present, state teams are required to field teams for the President’s Cup (Under-21) and Youth Cup (Under-19) competitions.
Representatives from the state FAs, had last month, attended a workshop at FAM regarding the new leagues.
However, there seems to be some resentment from certain FAs over the mandatory regulation as football development is often ignored with a bulk of the funds used for the main teams playing in the Super and Premier Leagues.
“But there shouldn’t be any excuses as this is what development is about. In fact, the onus should be on the state FAs to organise youth leagues,” said a source familiar with the new ruling.
“The leagues will then be a feeder system for the state FAs’ President’s Cup and Youth Cup teams.”
The move is in line with FAM’s F:30 blueprint which includes revamping youth football in Malaysia.
Football in Malaysia has been in the doldrums for decades as the natioanl team continues to struggle to find its footing in Southeast Asia – a far cry from the glory days of being an Asian giant in the 60s, 70s and 80s.