LionsXII kicked out of Malaysia football, will no longer feature from next season

LionsXII's Sufian Anuar (middle in blue), takes on Pahang's Damion Stewart (right) and Saifulnizam Miswan (left) during their Malaysia Cup football match.
LionsXII's Sufian Anuar (middle in blue), takes on Pahang's Damion Stewart (right) and Saifulnizam Miswan (left) during their Malaysia Cup football match. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Singapore will again cut ties with Malaysian football from next season after the Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) executive committee voted on Tuesday to end the LionsXII's participation in its competitions.

In a media statement released on the FAM website, Malaysia's football governing body said that both the FAM and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) will not be extending a Memorandum of Understanding they signed in 2011 which saw the LionsXII play in Malaysia and Malaysia's own developmental squad Harimau Muda play in Singapore's S-League.

The FAS has yet to make a statement on the FAM exco's decision.

The move will fuel speculation that the LionsXII could feature in the Asean Super League (ASL), which is hoping to kick off next year. But with the ASL far from a certainty, The Straits Times understands that several LionsXII players were concerned about their futures and were scrambling to try and sign with S-League clubs ahead of next season.

The LionsXII's exit ends a four-year reunion with Malaysian football. Singapore last featured in the 1994 tournament, when the team led by Fandi Ahmad won the Malaysia League and Cup double.

The LionsXII lifted the Malaysia Super League in 2013 and won the Malaysia FA Cup this year.

The current team, coached by Fandi, will exit the Malaysia Cup this Saturday unless they can overturn a 1-4 deficit in their second leg quarter-final match against Pahang.