Shebby: More im­port play­ers, please

New Straits Times - - Sport -

FOR­MER na­tional player Ser­begeth Singh has asked the FA of Malaysia (FAM) to be brave, and open up the quota for im­port play­ers in the M-League.

Ser­begeth, or pop­u­larly known as TV pun­dit, Shebby Singh, said it is time for FAM to pri­ori­tise ef­forts to de­velop the league in­stead of be­ing wor­ried about changes that could af­fect the per­for­mance of the na­tional team.

Shebby, who was once “global ad­viser” to English club, Black­burn Rovers, said: “At the mo­ment, foot­ball in Malaysia is di­vided into two - the pro­fes­sional league and na­tional team. We have to de­cide which should be given the pri­or­ity.

“I be­lieve we should pri­ori­tise the na­tional league be­cause it will gen­er­ate in­come for each team. All this while we have been us­ing the same con­cept of lim­it­ing im­ports and what has that brought us?

“Now we set the tar­get of mak­ing our league pop­u­lar and highly prof­itable in five years. The mar­ket in this re­gion (South­east Asia) is huge.

“MP & Silva has stated that our league will be worth RM1.26 bil­lion in 15 years, so FAM have to work hard.”

Har­ian Metro on Thurs­day re­ported that FAM pres­i­dent Tunku Is­mail Sul­tan Ibrahim is hop­ing to in­crease the num­ber of im­ports to five in ad­di­tion to one im­port from South­east Asia to im­prove the qual­ity of the MLeague.

Prior to this, M-League teams are lim­ited to three for­eign and one Asian player.

Shebby said an in­crease in im­ports will im­prove the com­pe­ti­tion within the league. “Let our lo­cal play­ers com­pete with the im­ports. That is the only (for­eign) ex­po­sure they have out­side of the AFC Cup.” Az­i­man Rosdi

Ser­begeth Singh

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