Monday, 2 June 2014 | MYT 9:47 PM
Pahang crying foul over FA Cup final venue switch
The Shah Alam Stadium will host the FA Cup final on June 7 instead of the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. - Bernama
PETALING JAYA: The Pahang FA (PFA) are feeling short-changed because Saturday’s FA Cup final between Pahang and Felda United will not be staged at the “Wembley of Malaysia” - the 100,000 capacity National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) announced on Monday that the 25th edition of the FA Cup final has been switched to the 70,000 capacity Shah Alam Stadium.
PFA vice-president Datuk Akbar V.V. Abu said the National Stadium was the original venue to host the final but they received an unpleasant surprise when they were informed of the switch in venue at the LOC meeting at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Monday.
“We had anticipated that the final would be played at the National Stadium, which can accommodate a bigger crowd,” said a disappointed Akbar.
Pahang, who played in the Malaysia Cup final in Shah Alam last year, will get 30,000 tickets to be sold to their fans. Premier League side Felda United, who barely can raise 500 fans for home matches, will also be given their share of 30,000 tickets while the balance 10,000 tickets will be sold online at www.tickethotline.com.my.
Besides the smaller number of fans, the two finalists will also see a drop in revenue from the gate receipts, which they will share equally.
Akbar said they have a huge fan base and can attract more than 30,000 fans for home matches.
“We have 14 affiliated districts all over the state and we have to find a way to equally distribute these tickets. This is a Cup final and we are not able to have our fans come in full force,” said Akbar.
Felda team manager Datuk Jamaludin Ahmad said they would distribute the tickets to the Felda settlers with the majority being from Pahang.
“This is a final between brothers,” said Jamaludin.
LOC chairman Datuk Seri Afandy Hamzah said the final could not be staged at the National Stadium because of the pitch.
“We inspected the venue and have been informed by the Stadium Board that the National Stadium is almost ready. But they are unable to allow the final to be played there because the grass is not full grown, yet. As such, they don’t want to hamper the growth process,” said Afandy at a press conference on Monday.
Tickets for the final are priced at RM40 (adults) and RM5 (children). Tickets purchased online should be redeemed at Stadium Melawati in Shah Alam from 9am-6pm on Tuesday onwards.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin ordered the National Stadium to be closed for six months from October last year for repairs to the football field.
Last year, Barcelona refused to play at the National Stadium during their Asian Tour in August, claiming Argentinian star Lionel Messi injured himself in training there on the eve of the match. They played Malaysia in an exhibition match in Shah Alam instead.