AFC Champions League hope for Malaysia

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) are realising local football clubs' dream to play in the 2015 AFC Champions League tournament by introducing a club licensing programme.

Besides boosting local clubs' hopes to play in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)'s top tier tournament, FAM Assistant Secretary-General Lazarus Jensen Xavier said the licensing programme was also aimed to promote professionalism among the football clubs in the country.

"We have organised a workshop regarding this licensing programme early today which received positive feedback from a few representatives of local clubs," he told reporters after the workshop at Wisma FAM on Thursday.

Lazarus said the clubs who were interested to apply for the licensing programme must meet five main criteria set by both FAM and AFC namely sportsmanship, personnel and administrative matters, legal compliance, infrastructure and financial aspects.

"AFC have left a sole play-off spot among the top six Super League teams, but it all depends on their application, which will be processed by AFC besides having to meet all the criteria set," he said. 

Lazarus noted that FAM will be responsible as the licensor and be managing the licensing system by carrying out several tasks such as drafting regulations, establishing administration units and an appeals body.

He said the interested club must submit their licensing application before Oct 31 this year, adding that the licence is only valid for one year and is not transferable to other teams.

Based on AFC rules, it is mandatory for the clubs to acquire a licence in order to participate in AFC club competitions especially in the Asian Champions League.

(Photo Credit: Erwin Aszuwanni Abas @ www.asiana.my)