‘We will respect Indonesian fans’

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Sep 2019

Time to leave: Indonesian army and police officers escorting supporters of Malaysia’s team after Malaysia beat Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup qualifier at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. — AP

PETALING JAYA: Let’s show the Malaysian way to treat Indonesian football supporters!

Malaysia’s morale-boosting 3-2 win against Indonesia in the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asia Cup Group G second round qualifying opener at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Thursday was marred by unruly fans and rowdy behaviour.

Instead of retaliating, Malaysian fans want to show respect when Harimau Malaya face Indonesia in the return leg on Nov 19 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

During the Jakarta match, some Indonesian fans were seen throwing bottles and hurling stones at the Malaysian fans’ seating area.

The atmosphere worsened in the second half when local fans entered the pitch area and tried to invade the Malaysian stands.

As a result, the match was halted for 10 minutes.

After the match, Malaysian fans, including the Ultras Malaya and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, were quarantined for a few hours until the situation was diffused and the local police had restored order.

Some Malaysian fans on social media stated that, instead of pelting stones, they would welcome their guests in an honourable way.

Eyzva Ramly tweeted, with the return match in Bukit Jalil in mind: “Later in Bukit Jalil, we – Malaysian supporters – promise to welcome the Indonesian supporters with nothing but love.

“No throwing objects and rude banners. This is #football.”

Another tweet said: “Nanti kami host Indonesia (Later when we host Indonesia), I hope we don’t stoop to the level of the fans over there.”

“We will throw flowers to them dan air mawar (rose water) so that the whole Bukit Jalil stadium harum (smells fragrant) #HarimauMalaya,” said one tweet.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam has advised Malaysian fans to avoid any form of instigation and provocation.

“Malaysian fans, in general, reacted in a positive manner last night and did not succumb to the provocation,” said Stuart.

“We continue to urge our Malaysian fans to exercise restraint and patience and extend our warmest hospitality to the travelling fans to our country – whether they are from Indonesia, UAE (United Arab Emirates), Thailand or Vietnam.

“We welcome them with the utmost respect for all the upcoming matches at the National Stadium.”

“For the Malaysian fans in Indonesia, we pray for your safe journey within the country and journey back to Malaysia and thank all of you for your strong support towards the Harimau Malaya squad.”
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