MALAYSIA NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
WORLD RANKING: 153
Tan Cheng Hoe
MOST CAPPED PLAYER:-
Soh Chin Aun (222 appearances)
Mokhtar Dahari (89 goals)
Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Kuala Lumpur
Harimau Malaya (Malayan Tigers)
The Malaysia national football team represents Malaysia in international football and is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia.
The national team is recognised by FIFA as the successor of the defunct Malaya national football team which was founded for the 1963 Merdeka Tournament one month before the institution of Malaysia.
The team is officially nicknamed Harimau Malaya in reference to the Malayan tiger.
Residing in the group of 4 teams of Southeast Asia who has won the ASEAN Football Championship at least once, Malaysia fails to reach greater deed outside its region than a bronze won at the Asian Games in 1974.
Having participated in the Summer Olympics once and three AFC Asian Cups, the team failed to progress beyond the group stage on all occasions.
In particular, fixtures involving Indonesia are the most heated as it corresponds to political and social issues, named as ‘Nusantara Derby’ or sometimes ‘Malay Derby’.
Football in Malaysia
Football is the most popular sport in Malaysia.
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.
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.
Malaysian football league system
The Malaysian football league system, also known as the football pyramid, is a series of interconnected leagues for men’s football clubs in Malaysia.
The system has a hierarchical format with promotion and relegation between leagues at different levels, allowing even the smallest club the hypothetical possibility of ultimately rising to the very top of the system.
The exact number of clubs varies from year to year as clubs join and leave leagues or fold altogether, but an estimated average of 10 clubs per division implies that hundreds of teams are members of a league in the Malaysian men’s football league system.
Level 1 – Malaysia Super League
The Malaysia Super League is the men’s top professional football division of the Malaysian football league system.
Administered by the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP), now known as the Malaysian Football League (MFL), the Malaysia Super League is contested by twelve teams that operate on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League, with the two lowest-placed teams relegated and replaced by the promoted top two teams in that division.
32 clubs have competed in the division since the inception of the Malaysia Super League in 2004. Eight have won the title, with the clubs being: Selangor F.C., Kedah Darul Aman F.C., Kelantan F.C., Sri Pahang F.C., Perlis, Negeri Sembilan F.C., LionsXII and Johor Darul Ta’zim F.C..
Level 2 – Malaysia Premier League
The Malaysia Premier League is the current second-tier professional football league in Malaysia. The league replaced the former second-tier league, Liga Perdana 2 in the Malaysian football league system.
The Malaysia Premier League is contested by 12 clubs where the season runs from early February to late October, with a Ramadan break for a month depending on the Islamic calendar.
Teams play 22 matches each (playing each team in the league twice, home and away), totalling 132 matches in the season. Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games played during weekdays.
The league operates on a system of promotion and relegation with promotion to the Malaysia Super League and relegation to the Malaysia M3 League.
In 2015, the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) was created in the course of the privatisation of the Malaysian football league system.
The partnership saw all 24 teams of the Malaysia Super League and the Malaysia Premier League including the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as a managing partner and MP & Silva as a special partner (FAM’s global media and commercial advisor) to become stakeholders in the company.
The FMLLP owned, operated and ran five entities in Malaysian football under its jurisdiction, which included the Malaysia Super League (MSL), the Malaysia Premier League (MPL), the Malaysia FA Cup, the Malaysia Cup and the Piala Sumbangsih. It aimed to transform and move Malaysian football forward.
Level 3 – Malaysia M3 League
The Malaysia M3 League is the third level football league of the Malaysian football league system. It operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League and the Malaysia M4 League.
The league was created as part of the Malaysian Football League’s plan to reform the Malaysian football league structure. It is the replacement of the former Malaysia FAM League.
The Malaysia M3 League is contested by 20 clubs where the season runs from March to November with a Ramadan break for a month depending on the Islamic calendar.
Teams play 26 matches each, totalling 306 matches in the season. Most games are played on Fridays, with a few games played during weekdays.
Level 4 – Malaysia M4 League
The Malaysia M4 League is a fourth tier state-level football league competition in the Malaysian football league system.
The league was created in 2018 as part of the Malaysian Football League’s plan to reform the Malaysian football league structure.
After a rebranding of the Malaysian Football League (MFL) in March 2018, the company announced a reform of lower league competitions in Malaysia.
In 2019, a new subsidiary of the company was formed, known as the Amateur Football League (AFL) which was tasked to manage the third division and below.
The AFL officially confirmed the formation of the Malaysia M3 League and Malaysia M4 League as the third and fourth divisions of the Malaysian football league system.
A total of 14 clubs were confirmed to compete in the inaugural season of the newly reformed third division, the Malaysia M3 League, which replaced the former Malaysia FAM League while the 5 FA State Leagues and 9 Social Leagues ran in parallel to form the Malaysia M4 League.
Level 5 – Regional Leagues
Malaysia FA Cup
The Malaysia FA Cup, known as Shopee Piala FA for sponsorship reasons, is an annual national knock-out football tournament in Malaysia.
The cup was first held in 1990. The competition was previously managed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) before it was transferred to Football Malaysia LLP (MFL) (now known as Malaysian Football League (MFL)) in the 2016 season.
The cup is contested among the clubs from the Malaysia Super League, Malaysia Premier League, Malaysia M3 League and Malaysia M4 League.
The preliminary and first rounds are played between the clubs that qualified from the M3 and M4 League. The winners advance to the second round and join the rest of the clubs.
The winners of the competition are awarded a slot to compete in the AFC Cup alongside the champions of the Malaysia Super League.
The Malaysia Cup is an annual association football tournament in Malaysia. The cup was first held in 1921.
Even though it is the nation’s oldest cup tournament, it is currently a secondary cup to the Malaysia FA Cup as the Malaysia FA Cup is the cup that is given the nation’s slot for the continental cup tournament.
The competition was previously managed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) before it was transferred to Football Malaysia LLP (now known as Malaysian Football League (MFL)) in the 2016 season.
A new format was introduced for the 2016 season where only the best eleven teams from the Malaysia Super League (MSL) and five others from the Malaysia Premier League (MPL) qualified to play in the Malaysia Cup that season where the final position for the qualification was determined after the last game of the first round of MSL and MPL.
After all 16 teams have been identified, the team will be divided into four groups which then will compete in the tournament for the cup.
The Malaysia Cup was played at the end of each year’s football season until the 2016 season where it was changed to be played near the end of the football season in order to promote a competitive league within the Malaysian football league.
Piala Sumbangsih (Malaysia Charity Cup), also known as Piala Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah (Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Cup), is the Malaysian super cup competition.
It is the curtain-raiser match to the new Malaysian football season, pitting the reigning Malaysia Super League champions against the previous year’s winners of the Malaysia Cup.
It is also known as the Perlawanan Sumbangsih (Charity Match).
Malaysia FAM Cup
The FAM Cup (Piala FAM) is the knock-out tournament for the teams in Liga M3 and Liga M4 in Malaysia.
The tournament is currently a cup format, but from 2008 to 2018 it was held as a league tournament and used the name FAM League (Malay: Liga FAM).
The competition was first held in September 1951.