It's just not working. The FAM's anti-hooliganism banner being paraded before the friendly match between Malaysia and the Philippines on Saturday.
PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia’s (FAM) “Love Football, Stop Hooliganism” campaign is not working at all.
Officials at the FAM were left red-faced on Saturday when ultras unleashed flares and smoke bombs during Malaysia’s friendly international against the Philippines at the Selayang Stadium.
The match, which ended 0-0, was halted for eight minutes in the first half by referee Mohd Amirul Izwan Yaacob.
About 1,000 ultras were among the 8,000 crowd and they maintained a 30-minute silence as soon as the match kicked off at 8.45pm as a protest against the FAM. Banners deriding the FAM for the state of affairs of football in the country were seen inside the stadium. The ultras also sang derogatory songs insulting the FAM.
FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin was visibly angry, saying the FAM could face sanctions from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for the incident.
“The fans should go through proper channels to voice their grouses instead of interrupting a match,” said a fuming Hamidin on Sunday.
“We had several VIPs attending the match, including officials from the Philippines embassy and these fans’ action have embarrassed the country.
“We are working on this issue but it seems that harsher measures are needed to curb hooliganism. We will find a way to tackle this problem,” he vowed.