Online praise for Harimau Malaya, brickbats for violence


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Sep 2019

PETALING JAYA: As Indonesia apologised to Malaysia over the violence caused by its fans at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, social media was abuzz with Malaysians heaping praise on Harimau Malaya for its sensational World Cup qualifying victory in the Indonesian capital.

In congratulating the national football team over its 3-2 victory in what was the opening match of the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asia Cup second round qualifying tournament on Thursday night, many condemned Indonesian fans who turned unruly after the match.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, who was among the first to congratulate the national team on Facebook, said he was saddened with what ensued.

“Each time our fans go over to watch a game, they are always attacked by foul words, have objects such as water bottles thrown at them, besides other provocations.

“This is very disheartening and should not have happened again.

“I urge the Youth and Sports Minister to find a mechanism together with Indonesia to prevent a recurrence.

“I know this has been happening but I am sure it can be overcome,” he said, thanking Indonesian security personnel for ensuring the safety of Malaysian fans and players.

Muhammad Nazrin noted that the Malaysian team had improved.

“We can see they’re progressing together.

“In the next match against the UAE, we need to take our chances and keep playing the way we have been playing and keep up the good momentum,” he wrote on Facebook.

Brendan Gan tweeted: “What a fantastic effort from the boys.

“Thanks to all the Malaysian fans for making the night so special.

“I hope all Malaysian travellers get home safely! Hard work pays off.”

Faizul Arifi punned on the name of winger Mohamadou Sumareh, who came on as a substitute in the 35th minute and scored the equaliser almost immediately and then the last gasp winner in the 97th minute, to make his point.

“Is your name Sumareh? Cause you make our country suma (all) happy!” he wrote.

Rajendran Ramachandram said this in his tweet: “We are always on your back to support, win or lose.

“But every time you win, that’s the greatest day for every Malaysian. Keep on winning!”

The violence prompted Indonesian Sports and Youth Minister Imam Nahrawi to apologise and express regret to his Malaysian counterpart Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman who watched the game at the stadium.

Syed Saddiq, who posted a photo of them together yesterday in Instagram, earlier said he planned to lodge a formal complaint with the Indonesian government and that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) would also do so with FIFA.

In the meantime, netizens aimed brickbats at the rowdy Indonesian fans.

“You guys just hosted Asian Games and the whole world look(s) up to Indonesia, including Malaysia.

“But this kind of mentality sets Indonesia football fans (in) the stone age.

“Is this how you welcome us Malaysians on your home ground?” wrote one Clarky, who went by the Twitter handle “itsclrkhns”.

“What was supposed to be a sweet victory for the Harimau Malaysians turned sour at the stadium.

The match was marred by crowd trouble and had to be stopped for 10 minutes until police intervened during the second half, and things took a turn for the worse for Malaysian fans as the game ended.

“This is sad, considering that football is supposed to be a medium of unity.

“I promise I will demand justice for Malaysians,” Syed Saddiq was quoted as saying after the match.

It was confirmed that at least one Malaysian was injured during the incident.

A video of the riots and that of a Malaysian fan being carried on a stretcher went viral on social media.

Malaysia next faces the UAE on Tuesday at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
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