Azraai warns MFL to be fair and is against increase in number of foreign players

WHILE Azraai Khor described the proposed Super League expansion to 18 teams as good, the former Kedah coach reminded the Malaysian Football League (MFL) to be fair to all clubs in all aspects.

However, he is against increasing the number of foreign players in the league. According to the 70-year-old, an increase from five to six or more will hinder the progress of local footballers.

Furthermore, he added that most foreign players that play in Malaysia are of little help in improving the quality of the Super League.

Although it is in the planning stages, MFL believe a revamped Super League will add prestige to the football competition.

The football body plan to introduce it next season with the second-tier Premier League replaced with an Under-23 reserve league competition.

As for the foreign quota, MFL want to increase it from five to six in line with the Asian Football Confederation's new ruling to allow more imports in next year's AFC Champions League.

"It is good because players will get more matches. I think it will be good for the national team, but at the same time, having more foreign players might hinder the progress of local footballers, especially youngsters," said Azraai today.

"However, clubs have been complaining about the fixtures and other issues. MFL have to be fair if they want to expand the league.

"We cannot have fixtures favouring certain teams anymore.

"(But) we do not need more foreign players in the league as it is already flooded with low-grade imports.

"If you see the trend, teams keep changing their foreign players every midseason transfer window."

A coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the proposed revamp first emerged in February with no updates since then.

"If we have 18 clubs in the top flight, likely not all will be competitive. Furthermore, we know some teams are not financially sound,

"If teams can sign more foreigners, coaches will start hiring defenders and forwards, which will be detrimental to the national team.

"If this happens, we should not blame the clubs and coaches, as all they want is to win titles," he added.

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