Football in Malaysia

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Football in Malaysia
National Stadium Bukit Jalil 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup final.jpg
The Malaysia national team playing at Bukit Jalil during Final 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup (2014).
Country Malaysia
Governing body FA
National team Malaysia
First played Late 1800s
National competitions
Club competitions
Malaysia Super League
Malaysia Premier League
Malaysia FAM League
Malaysia People's Football League
State League
Malaysia IPT Football League
State District League
International competitions

Football is the most popular sport in Malaysia. 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]

In 1997, Malaysia hosted the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but known as FIFA World Youth Championship during that time. In 2007, Malaysia co-hosted the Asian Cup 2007 with three other countries.

History of Malaysia Football[edit]

Football arrived in Malaysia, (Malaya at that time) with the British. The locals soon picked up the game, and before long it was the country's leading sport. Towards the end of the 19th century, football was one of the central pillars of most sports clubs in Malaya. But it was not structured. Even when the Selangor Amateur Football League took shape in 1905 – which ensured proper administration and organisation – the competition was confined only to clubs in the Kuala Lumpur.[8][9]

In 1933, Football of Malaysia was founded as Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) which managed the local football scene at that time.[10] By 1954, FAM joins FIFA as a member in AFC.

The most significant successes of the national team of Malaysia has come in the regional AFF Suzuki Cup (formerly known as the 'Tiger Cup'), which Malaysia won in 2010 for the first time in history. They beat Indonesia 4–2 on aggregate in the final to capture the country's first major international football title.

Malaysia had many top players, such as the legendary Mokhtar Dahari and Sabah's Hassan Sani and James Wong, which led Malaysia into their golden age during the 1970s until the 1980s. Before Mokhtar, The Malaysian King of Football, Datuk Abdul Ghani Minhat was the most famous and respected footballer in the whole Malaya during the 1950s until the 1960s. Malaysia's 15–1 victory over the Philippines in 1962 is currently the record for the highest win for the national team. In the current generation, Mohd Safee Mohd Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha are considered by Malaysians as their best striker pair.

In the FIFA World Rankings, Malaysia's highest standing was in the first release of the figures, in August 1993, at 75th. Malaysia's main rival on the international stage are their geographical neighbours, Indonesia and Singapore, and past matches between these two teams have produced much drama. Malaysia is one of the most successful teams in Southeast Asia along with Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, winning the ASEAN Football Championship 2010 and other small competitions while improving at the same time.

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]

Main article: Malaysia Super League

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 Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) and partnership of 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.[11]

Malaysia Premier League[edit]

The Malaysia Premier League (Liga Perdana Malaysia) is the second-tier football league in Malaysia. It is at the second division in Malaysian football league system and it is also managed by the FMLLP and partnership of FAM. The league is contested between 12 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia FAM League. The 12 clubs participating in this league need to pass a set of requirements and verification process, particularly related to professionalism and infrastructure feasibility although with lower requirement compared to the Malaysia Super League.[12] The league was named Astro Premier League Malaysia (Astro Liga Perdana Malaysia in Malay) in 2013 season and TM Malaysia Premier League before then because of the sponsorship reason.

Malaysia FAM League[edit]

Main article: Malaysia FAM League

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.

Malaysia People's Football League[edit]

The Malaysia People's Football League (Liga Bolasepak Rakyat in Malay) is the fourth-tier football league in Malaysia. The league are managed by (Liga Bolasepak Rakyat-Limited Liability Partnership (LBR-LLP) and it is an amateur-level competition which was established in 2015 with aims to create a bigger base at grassroots level and eventually provide an alternative route for footballers under the age of 28 to make the grade.[13] Currently there are a total of 111 teams out of more than 150 possible districts in the country. The teams were divided into 8 zones.[14]

President's Cup League[edit]

The Malaysian President's Cup is the amateur football competition in Malaysia for under-21 players. Since its inception,in 1985, the President's Cup has been the major tournament for under-21 and under-23 players. In 2009, the format of the competition was changed with only under-20 players eligible to be fielded for the tournament.In 2015 the format of the competition reverted to the original format with under-21 players and three over age players eligible to play.[15]

Youth leagues[edit]

Main article: Malaysia Youth League

The Malaysian Youth League is the amateur football competition in Malaysia for under-19 players. Since its inception,in 2008, the Belia Cup has been the major tournament for under-19. In 2009 to 2011, the competition is combined with President's Cup.In 2015 the format of the competition changed to the league format.[16]

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.

Domestic Cup competitions[edit]

  • 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 Cup winners and the Super League champions.

International Cup competitions[edit]

  • Merdeka Tournament Cup – a football tournament held in Malaysia to honour the Independence Day. The competition is Asia`s oldest football tournament which invited football playing nations to compete since 1957.[17][18][19][20]

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
AFC Champions League Team finishing 1st in the Super League
AFC Cup 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]

Women's football competitions are also managed by FAM. Malaysia women's football national team represents Malaysia in international women's football.

Stadium of Malaysia football[edit]

Some of the major stadium used for various team in Malaysia League listed as follow:

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 Goalkeeper Chow Chee Keong Hong Kong Hong Kong Rangers FC
Hong Kong South China AA
2 Midfielder Wong Choon Wah Hong Kong South China AA
Hong Kong Seiko SA
3 Goalkeeper Wong Kam Fook Hong Kong South China AA
Hong Kong Seiko SA
4 Goalkeeper Lim Fung Kee Hong Kong Seiko SA 1973–1981 88 0
5 Defender Soh Chin Aun Hong Kong Seiko SA 1973–1974 8 0
6 Midfielder Koo Luam Khen Hong Kong Seiko SA 1976–1982 98 5
7 Midfielder Dali Omar Australia Perth Azzuri 1972–1974 25 0
8 Midfielder Lim Teong Kim Germany Hertha Berlin 1987 1 0
9 Forward Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli France RC Strasbourg
France FCSR Haguenau
10 Midfielder Muhammad Juzaili Samion France RC Strasbourg
France FCSR Haguenau
11 Forward Mohd Fadzli Shaari Germany SV Wehen 2001 23 6
12 Forward Rudie Ramli Germany SV Wehen 2001 19 4
13 Forward Stanley Bernard Stephen Samuel India Sporting Clube de Goa
Indonesia Persibo Bojonegoro
14 Midfielder Irfan Fazail Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce 2011 2 0
15 Defender Fadhli Shas Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce 2011 1 0
16 Forward Safee Sali Indonesia Pelita Jaya
Indonesia Arema Cronus
17 Midfielder Nazmi Faiz Mansor Portugal SC Beira Mar 2012–13 5 1
18 Forward Ahmad Fakri Saarani Portugal Atlético S.C. 2012–13 11 0
19 Defender Chun Keng Hong Thailand Chanthaburi
Hong Kong Shatin
20 Defender Suhaidi Akmal Thailand Chanthaburi 2012
21 Goalkeeper Amir Khata Thailand Chanthaburi 2012
22 Midfielder Wan Zack Haikal Slovakia FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce
Japan FC Ryukyu
23 Defender Nazirul Naim Japan FC Ryukyu 2013 0 0
24 Midfielder Tam Sheang Tsung China Shanghai Shenhua
Japan Avispa Fukuoka
Japan Kataller Toyama
25 Midfielder Brendan Gan Australia Sydney FC
Australia Rockdale City Suns FC

See also[edit]


  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. 
  9. ^ History of Singapore Football
  10. ^ About FAM in FIFA Website
  11. ^ Kin, Ooi (4 October 2013). "The biggest change in Malaysian football – Yahoo Sports Singapore". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Kin, Ooi (4 October 2013). "The biggest change in Malaysian football – Yahoo Sports Singapore". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ LBR Official Website
  15. ^ President's Cup Team Standings
  16. ^ Malaysia Youth League
  17. ^ Glory beckons Malaysia
  18. ^ Seoul Times "Hari Merdeka" Observed in Seoul 2008.09.02.
  19. ^ Asiaweek, Volume 16, Issues 27–51
  20. ^ Asia`s oldest football tournament

External links[edit]