The Football Malaysia Limited Liability Partnership (FMLLP) announced several fixture changes for the 2017 M-League season on Wednesday following a request from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) .
With the 2017 SEA Games taking place at the end of August, the national football body requested for more preparation time to be given to the Malaysia U-22 national team, especially in light of a fiasco earlier this month.
The national team were severely hampered and depleted
ahead of their AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers due to domestic teams unwilling to release their players for international duty.
At one point, national head coach Ong Kim Swee only had two players at the training camp
Although in the end Malaysia still managed to qualify for the U-23 finals
, the FAM clearly wanted to take precaution this time.
"FMLLP have received a request from the FAM to reschedule matches to allow the U-22 national team to prepare for the Kuala Lumpur 2017 SEA Games scheduled from August 17 to 30," read a statement from the M-League showrunner.
"The FMLLP Board of Directors have considered and approved the request to facilitate the management’s preparation for the sake of the U-22 national team who will be involved at the 29th SEA Games."
The 2017 season will go for a short break after August 7 and resume from September 9 for the final group fixtures of the Malaysia Cup, which was originally scheduled for August 9.
Besides the U-22 team, consideration was also given to the national senior team, who will play 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers against North Korea and Hong Kong in October.
Gameweek 21 of the Premier League and Super League was brought forward by three days to September 26 and 27 respectively.
Also, Gameweek 22 will take place on October 27 and 28 respectively, while their original dates of October 20 and 21 will be used for Malaysia Cup semi-finals.
The 2017 M-League season will conclude on November 4 with the Malaysia Cup final.