1979 (Amateur League) |
1982 (League trophy introduced)
1989 (Semi-Professional League)
1994 (Professional League)
2004 (Semi-privatisation era)
2016 (Privatisation era)
Malaysia Super League|
Malaysia Premier League
Malaysia FAM League
|Number of teams||
12 MSL |
18 FAM League
|Level on pyramid||1-3|
Malaysian States League|
Liga Bolasepak Rakyat
IPT Football League
Malaysia FA Cup|
AFC Champions League|
The Malaysian League or also known as M-League (Liga Malaysia or Liga-M in Malay) is a terminology used to describe the association football league in Malaysia. The terminology was mainly used to describe the league associated within Malaysian football league system.
The concept of an annual competition between the states in Malaysia goes back more than 95 years. In 1967 the Malaya Cup was replaced by the Malaysia Cup but the essentially amateur ethos continued until the Malaysian football league was introduced by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) in 1979 as a 'halfway house' towards full professional status.
Era of Malaysian League (1979-1989)
Malaysian football league competition involving the representative sides of the state football associations was first held in Malaysia in 1979. When it began, it was intended primarily as a qualifying tournament for the final knock-out stages of the Malaysia Cup where teams compete in a one-round league before advanced to the knock-out stage. The top four teams at the end of the league will face off in two semi-finals before the winners made it to the finals. In 1981, the quarter-finals stage were introduced where eight teams were qualified from the preliminary stage.
However, it was not until 1982 that a league trophy was introduced to recognise the winners of the preliminary stage as the league champions which then officially started the era of nationwide level amateur football league in Malaysia. Since then, the Malaysia Cup has been held after the conclusion of the league each year, with only the best-performing teams in the league qualifying for the Malaysia Cup. Over the years, the league competition has gained important stature in its own right.
Era of Malaysian Semi-Pro Football League (1989-1993)
In early days, Malaysian football league system consist of amateur league before the changes in 1989 when it was known fully as the Malaysian Semi-Pro Football League from 1989 to 1993. The league was divided into two divisions, Malaysia League Division I and Malaysia League Division II.
The inaugural season of MSPFL consisted of nine teams in Division I and eight teams in Division II. The Malaysian Police joined Division II in 1990. Games were played on a home and away basis for about four months roughly between the end of April or early May and the end of August or early September.
Early era of Malaysia Premier League (1994-1997)
Malaysia Premier League was formed and established in 1994 to succeed the Malaysian Semi-Pro Football League and became the Malaysian fully professional football league and was the top-tier football league in the country at that time. At this time the league was interchangeably referred as Malaysian League.
Era of Malaysia Premier League 1 and Malaysia Premier League 2 (1998-2003)
In 1998, Malaysia Premier League was divided into two divisions consist of Malaysia Premier League 1 and Malaysia Premier League 2 (Liga Perdana 1 and Liga Perdana 2 in Malay). During this time both of the division was still just referred as Malaysian League as a whole.
During 1998, Malaysia Premier League 1 consist of 12 teams while Malaysia Premier League 2 had 8 teams. 10 teams that previously qualified for Malaysia Cup which played in 1997 Malaysia Premier League was automatically qualified to Malaysia Premier League 1. The other two spots was filled by playoff round of 5 lowest teams in 1997 Malaysia Premier League and the Malaysian Olympic football team. The lowest four teams from playoff round will then put into Malaysia Premier League 2 alongside Police, Malaysia Military, Negeri Sembilan Chempaka F.C and PKN Johor. At this time the league still consist of semi-pro team where each team was allowed to register 25 players where 12 players must be a professional for Malaysia Premier League 1 and a minimum of six professional playes in Malaysia Premier League 2.
Both leagues continued until 2003 when Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) decided to privatise the league for 2004 season onwards where Malaysia Super League was formed. Teams in Malaysia Premier League 1 and Malaysia Premier League 2 was then was put through a qualification and playoff to be promoted into Malaysia Super League. Teams that failed the qualification was put into now a second-tier league Malaysia Premier League.
Era of Malaysia Super League (2004 onwards)
After 2004 Malaysian League term was mainly used to describe Malaysian football league system as a whole rather than just top-tier division in the league.
There has been multiple different iteration for Malaysian league logo. The first logo been used during the era of Dunhill sponsorship. The new logo which replace it was during when TM start to sponsor the league when the Malaysia Super League was created in 2004. The last logo used was on 2011 when Astro Media first started to sponsor the Malaysian league. Starting 2012, there was no more logo created for it and league logo was only created for Malaysia Super League and Malaysia Premier League directly.
- The first ever Malaysian League Logo which has been used before 2004 Malaysian league season.
- The Malaysian League Logo which has been used from the 2004 Malaysian League season until 2010.
- The Malaysian League Logo which has been used for the 2011 Malaysian League season.
Current league system
Malaysia Super League
The Malaysia Super League (Liga Super Malaysia) is a Malaysian professional league for association football. It is at the top flight of the Malaysian football league system and it is managed by the Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) and partnership of FAM. The league is contested between 12 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia Premier League. The 12 clubs participating in this top flight league need to pass a set of requirements and verification process, particularly related to professionalism and infrastructure feasibility.
Malaysia Premier League
The Malaysia Premier League (Liga Perdana Malaysia) is the second-tier football league in Malaysia. It is at the second division in Malaysian football league system and it is also managed by the FMLLP and partnership of FAM. The league is contested between 12 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the Malaysia FAM League. The 12 clubs participating in this league need to pass a set of requirements and verification process, particularly related to professionalism and infrastructure feasibility although with lower requirement compared to the Malaysia Super League.
Malaysia FAM League
The Malaysia FAM League (Liga FAM Malaysia in Malay and formerly Malaysia FAM Cup) is the third-tier football league in Malaysia. The tournament used to be a cup format, but it changed 2008 as it was held as a league tournament and changing to its current name. Malaysia FAM Cup was established in 1952 as a secondary knockout competition to the more prestigious Malaya Cup, the competition were held between the state teams including Singapore, Police, Army, and Prisons Department of Malaysia in its early days. Starting in 1974, the state teams were barred from entering the competition and only the club sides could enter.
Liga Bolasepak Rakyat
The Liga Bolasepak Rakyat is the fourth-tier football league in Malaysia. The league is managed by Liga Bolasepak Rakyat-Limited Liability Partnership (LBR-LLP) and it is an amateur-level competition which was established in 2015 with aims to create a bigger base at grassroots level and eventually provide an alternative route for footballers under the age of 28 to make the grade. In its inaugural season, a total of 111 clubs out of more than 150 possible districts in the country compete in the league. The clubs were divided into 8 zones.
Development and youth league
President's Cup League
The Malaysia President's Cup is developmental football competition in Malaysia for under-21 players. Since its inception, in 1985, the President's Cup has been the major tournament for under-21 and under-23 players. In 2009, the format of the competition was changed with only under-20 players eligible to be fielded for the tournament. In 2015 the format of the competition reverted to the original format with under-21 players and three over age players eligible to play.
The Malaysia Youth League is the youth football competition in Malaysia for under-19 players. Since its inception, in 2008, the Belia Cup has been the major tournament for under-19. In 2009 to 2011, the competition is combined with President's Cup. In 2015 the format of the competition changed to the league format.
Hall of Fame
- Malaysian Semi-Pro Football League
- Malaysia Premier League
- Malaysia Super League
- Malaysia FA Cup
- Malaysia Cup
- http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/malay79.html Malaya Cup 1979
- http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00036849500000015 The demand for Semi-Pro League football in Malaysia 1989–91: a panel data approach
- http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/malay81.html Malaya Cup 1981
- http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/malay82.html Malaysia 1982
- http://www.rsssf.com/tablesm/malay94.html Malaysia 1994
- http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=1998&dt=0111&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Sukan&pg=sp_01.htm Pemain Malaysia bebas ke Brunei
- http://ww1.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=1998&dt=0613&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Sukan&pg=sp_03.htm Demam Piala Dunia rasuk Liga Perdana
- Kin, Ooi (4 October 2013). "The biggest change in Malaysian football – Yahoo Sports Singapore". Sg.sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- http://www.lbr.my/ LBR Official Website
- https://www.pengurusanbolasepakfam.org.my/standing/presiden President's Cup Team Standings
- https://pengurusanbolasepakfam.org.my/kedudukan/kpialabelia2015 Malaysia Youth League