PETALING JAYA - The worsening haze situation in the Klang Valley and several parts of the country has led to the cancellation of several sporting events as well as warnings about plunge in visibility.
Four Malaysia Cup matches last night were called off while the Standard Chartered KL Marathon scheduled for today was also cancelled.
The called off matches are - Group A's Johor Darul Ta'zim II vs Terengganu (Pasir Gudang Stadium), Group B's Armed Forces vs Sarawak (Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium, Paroi), Group D's Police vs Pahang (Shah Alam Stadium) and PKNS FC vs Penang (Selayang Stadium).
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) competitions committee came to the decision based on the request by the match commissioners after the Air Pollution Index (API) soared above the 150 level.
However, the Group C match between T-Team and Felda United at the Sultan Ismail Stadium in Kuala Terengganu will continue as scheduled.
Organisers of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon said in a press statement yesterday that the health and safety of runners remained their top priority.
"Since our last announcement, the haze has unfortunately reached unhealthy levels according to the latest monitored alert."
The statement said the decision to call off the event was made on the advice of the medical team, the Malaysian Athletics Federation and the Institut Sukan Negara.
"It had the support of co-organisers City Hall and sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia.
"We appreciate the support shown by our runners throughout this challenging weather situation," the organisers said.
They advised registered participants to directly proceed to Dataran Merdeka to collect their race entitlements from 6am until noon today.
"To those who are unable to collect their entitlements during that time, an alternative arrangement will be announced through the Standard Chartered KL Marathon social media channels on Facebook and Twitter," the statement added.
However, it said that route closures and support infrastructure would remain in place along Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Kuching, Jalan Parlimen, Jalan Cenderawasih, Jalan Lembah and Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin from 6am until 9am today.
On Friday, organisers stated that the marathon would go ahead as weather conditions had improved and API readings were at moderate level.
The Meteorological Department issued a warning on haze-induced low visibility of less than 5km over the waters off nine states - Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Johor, Pahang and Sarawak - yesterday.
"The condition is risky to sea vessels without navigational equipment," it said.