The newly created Challenge Cup may provide opportunities for its participating teams to compete in the Malaysia Cup in the future, according to Malaysian Football League (MFL) chief executive officer, Kevin Ramalingam.
However, he said time would be needed to introduce a new qualification format to the Malaysia Cup.
The tournament, which would be played from August 7 to October 13, was created for M-League teams who failed to qualify for the Malaysia Cup.
"For the first two years, we want to focus on getting off the ground a stable and organised competition and deliver an attractive product to the organiser.
"If in the first two seasons, all proceed smoothly without hiccups, we will then introduce the incentive to play in the Malaysia Cup.
"We will present the proposal to the MFL board before it is decided," he told reporters after the 2018 Challenge Cup draw on Wednesday.
Kevin clarified that the total number of participating teams in the Challenge Cup would be raised from eight teams to 16 teams in the future, and teams from the third division, the FAM League, could also play in the Malaysia Cup for the first time if they become the Challenge Cup champions.
For this season, the eight participating team are newly relegated Super League side Negeri Sembilan, six bottom teams in the Premier League namely UKM, UiTM, Terengganu II, Sarawak, Penang and Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) II, and an invited side, Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM).
Following the draw, Negeri Sembilan, UKM, Terengganu II and Sarawak are in Group A, while Group B consists UiTM, Penang, JDT II and ATM.
"Initially, we wanted to invite the top four teams of the FAM League, but they are now focusing on qualifying for the Premier League.
"So we took the decision to invite ATM, who failed to qualify for the FAM League semi-finals," he said.