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Bend It Like Bedi

Published: Sunday September 13, 2015 MYT 1:09:00 PM
Updated: Sunday September 13, 2015 MYT 1:12:04 PM

Respect for the ultras … of Germany

IN Germany, the ultras of various football clubs have been at the forefront in welcoming Syrian refugees to the country.

Whether it’s the ultras of St Pauli, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich or other teams – all have made their stand clear.

At several games they have unfurled giant banners to welcome these people who are fleeing their homes.

And it’s not just banners.

According to a report in The New York Times, the St Pauli ultras have, since 2004, visited refugees and helped them out. And some of these refugees have gone on to join the ultras.

Now compare that to the “great” Ultras Malaya who threw flares onto the pitch of a game to send a message to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

The same Ultras Malaya who also launched fireworks into the stands where other fans were seated, making them scramble for the exits.

This includes small children who could have easily been crushed in a stampede or blinded by the firecrackers.

The FAM has a lot to answer for with regard to the state of Malaysian football but I don’t know how launching fireworks at other fans watching a game helps.

I really wonder why these supposedly hardcore fans don’t just organise a rally outside FAM, or launch fireworks at the association’s building.

Are the ultras right just because they dance and sing (and call opposing teams “dogs”)?

Those who criticise them don’t know anything about Malaysian football, the ultras say. And the media who criticise them are supposedly paid by FAM.

The ultras claim they had to do what they did during the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia match for the sake of Malaysian football.

So is it better that the national team will now most likely be forced to play behind closed doors?

What’s sadder is that hardly anyone talked about Malaysia’s performance against Saudi Arabia.

They were not great but at least, the team played a disciplined and compact game.

Germany are world champions and so are the country’s ultras in my opinion for reasons beyond football.

Malaysia, on the other hand, are in the doldrums. They probably deserve the ultras they have.

If Malaysia were to be banned by FIFA, the one good thing is that we won’t have to put up with the unruly ultras.

> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

Tags / Keywords: Football, Malaysia, Ultras Malaya, ultras, Germany, FAM

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