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November 15, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — The government’s decision to refuse Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) permission to travel overseas to compete in the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League East Zone in Doha, Qatar is in the best interest and welfare of all Malaysians, said JDT owner Tunku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.

He said although it was hard to accept the decision, which included the cancellation of the 2020 Malaysia Cup, which is South-East Asia’s oldest football tournament, the rising number of Covid-19 cases meant the situation would affect the continuity of life if the pandemic continued.

“No one is safe from the threat of Covid-19. For instance, Egyptian star Mohamed Salah also tested positive when he arrived for an international match although he did not show any symptoms.

“It can happen anywhere and we cannot take any risks,” he said in a post on the official Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.

The 2020 AFC Champions League East Zone competition is scheduled to take place from Nov 18 to Dec 13, with 2020 Super League champions JDT continuing their campaign in Group G.

“JDT technical director Alistair Edwards had already stated the club’s disappointment because the 2020 season ended just like that, but we will all abide by the government’s decision and understand that the health and welfare of all Malaysians are important for the future of our country,” the TMJ said.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had previously confirmed that JDT would not be allowed to travel overseas following the government’s decision to close the country’s borders while the National Security Council (MKN) cancelled the 2020 Malaysia Cup after deciding that the sport, which involves physical contact, would pose a health risk to players. — Bernama

Source: Malay Mail

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