Football in Malaysia

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Association football is a national sport in Malaysia, where the first modern set of rules for the code were established in 1921, which were a major influence on the development of the modern Laws of the Game. The sport of football in the country of Malaysia is run by the Football Association of Malaysia. The association administers the national football team as well as the national league.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]

History of Malaysia football[edit]


The top three levels of the Malaysian football league system are operated by the Football Association of Malaysia, which consists of Malaysia Super League, Malaysia Premier League and Malaysia FAM League. All of the clubs in the Malaysian League are fully professional.

The fourth level, the Malaysia States League, is organized by 14 different states football associations, and is a semi-professional league consisting of amateur, professional, and company clubs from all over the respective states in Malaysia. It have multiple divisions.

Level Leagues/Divisions
I Malaysia Super League (MSL)
12 clubs
II Malaysia Premier League (MPL)
12 clubs
III Malaysia FAM League
22 clubs
IV 14 States Leagues
134 clubs (2013 season)

Perlis (8 clubs)
Kedah (10 clubs) | Penang (10 clubs) | Perak (10 clubs)
Selangor (10 clubs) | Negeri Sembilan (10 clubs)
Melaka (8 clubs) | Johor (8 clubs)
Kelantan (8 clubs) | Terengganu (8 clubs)
Pahang (8 clubs) | Sabah (8 clubs)
Sarawak (10 clubs)
Federal Territory of Malaysia (10 clubs)

League system[edit]

Unlike most of countries that plays football as a main game, the league system in Malaysia still consist of representative from state association, clubs from company, ministry or government agency.

Malaysia Super League[edit]

The Malaysia Super League (Liga Super Malaysia) is a Malaysian professional league for association football. It is at the top flight of the Malaysian football league system and it is managed by the Malaysia Super League Sdn Bhd, under supervision of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM). The league is contested between 12 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League. The 12 clubs participating in this top flight league need to pass a set of requirements and verification process, particularly related to professionalism and infrastructure feasibility.[8]

Malaysia Premier League[edit]

Malaysia Premier League (Liga Perdana Malaysia) is the second-tier football league in Malaysia. The league is currently named Astro Premier League Malaysia (Astro Liga Perdana Malaysia in Malay). The League was previously called the TM Malaysia Premier League because of the sponsorship of Telekom Malaysia.

FAM League[edit]

The Malaysia FAM League (Liga FAM Malaysia in Malay and formerly Malaysia FAM Cup) is the third-tier football league in Malaysia. The tournament used to be a cup format, but it changed 2008 as it was held as a league tournament and changing to its current name. Malaysia FAM Cup was established in 1952 as a secondary knockout competition to the more prestigious Malaya Cup, the competition were held between the state teams including Singapore, Police, Army, and Prisons Department of Malaysia in its early days. Starting in 1974, the state teams were barred from entering the competition and only the club sides could enter.

President's Cup League[edit]

The Malaysian President's Cup is the football competitions in Malaysia for under-20 players. Since its inception, the Malaysian President Cup has been the major tournament for under-21 and under-23 players. In 2009, the format of the competition changes which only under-20 players are eligible for the tournament.

Youth leagues[edit]

Cup competitions[edit]

There are several cup competitions for clubs at different levels of the football pyramid. The two major cup competitions are the Malaysia FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup.

  • The Malaysia Cup, first held in 1921, is the oldest national cup competition in Asia.
  • The Malaysia FA Cup, first held in 1990, is a national cup competition in the world. It is open to clubs and teams in levels 1–3 of the football pyramid.
  • The Malaysia Charity Shield is a single match played each January between the Malaysia FA Cup winners and the Super League champions.

Qualification for Asian competitions[edit]

Clubs who do well in either the Super League, Malaysia FA Cup or League Cup can qualify to compete in various AFC-organised Asian-wide competitions in the following season. The number of Malaysia teams playing in Asian in any one season can range from three to four. Currently, Malaysia is awarded the following places in Asian competitions:

Competition Who Qualifies Notes
Team finishing 1st in the Super League
Team won Malaysia FA Cup

National teams[edit]

The Malaysia national football team represents Malaysia in international football. Malaysia is one of the national teams to have won the AFF Suzuki Cup and did this in 2010.

Women's football[edit]

Stadium of Malaysia football[edit]

Seasons in Malaysia football[edit]

The following articles detail the major results and events in each season since 1921, when the first organised competition, the Malaya Cup, was created. Seasons in italics are wartime seasons, when official national competition was suspended, although regional football continued.

1920s: 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929 1930
1930s: 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940
1940s: 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950
1950s: 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960
1960s: 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
1970s: 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
1980s: 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990
1990s: 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2000s: 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
2010s: 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020

Malaysian players in foreign leagues[edit]

Entry Position Player Club Year Played Cap Goals
1 Midfielder Lim Teong Kim Germany Hertha Berlin 1987
2 Forward Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli France RC Strasbourg
France FCSR Haguenau
3 Midfielder Irfan Fazail Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce 2011 2 0
4 Defender Fadhli Shas Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce 2011 1 0
5 Forward Safee Sali Indonesia Pelita Jaya
Indonesia Arema Indonesia
6 Midfielder Nazmi Faiz Mansor Portugal SC Beira Mar 2012-13 0 0
7 Defender Chun Keng Hong Thailand Chanthaburi
Indonesia Bontang
8 Defender Suhaidi Akmal Thailand Chanthaburi 2012
9 Goalkeeper Amir Khata Thailand Chanthaburi 2012
10 Midfielder Wan Zack Haikal Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce
Japan FC Ryukyu
11 Defender Nazirul Naim Japan FC Ryukyu 2013 0 0


  1. ^ "John Duerden: Malaysia - A new hope - ESPN Soccernet". 7 July 2012. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Soccer - Malaysia hopes to relive football glory days by training 10,000 teenagers". 21 October 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "The biggest change in Malaysian football". 28 November 2013. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Football development: A tough job – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo". 30 July 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Arulampalam, Jeeva (21 October 2009). "Malaysian soccer clubs need right structures to attract funding". Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "A much-needed intervention for the good of Malaysian football". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Future of our football - The Gaffer | The Star Online". Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  8. ^ Kin, Ooi (4 October 2013). "The biggest change in Malaysian football - Yahoo Sports Singapore". Retrieved 18 January 2014.