Haze to blame as Cardiff cancel tour of Malaysia


  • Football
  • Wednesday, 26 Jun 2013

Malaysia's capital of Kuala Lumpur is seen covered with haze June 23, 2013. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

(Reuters) - Premier League newcomers Cardiff City, looking to grow their brand awareness ahead of a possible IPO, have cancelled their six-day promotional tour of Malaysia this week because of the air pollution crisis in Southeast Asia.

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and forward Craig Bellamy were among a party of club representatives who were due to conduct promotional activities in Kuala Lumpur from Thursday.

Last month Reuters exclusively reported that Malaysian billionaire owner Vincent Tan was exploring an IPO of the team after they sealed promotion to the lucrative English Premier League.

Tan, who owns 36.1 percent of the club and is the former chairman of conglomerate Berjaya Group, said the cancellation of the tour was a missed opportunity.

"A schedule of events had been put in place ahead of the opening Premier League fixtures, further raising awareness of Cardiff City Football Club in Malaysia," Tan said in a statement on the Welsh club's website on Tuesday.

"However due to the current poor air quality in Kuala Lumpur, it has been decided for the welfare of all concerned to delay the trip, re-establishing plans in the future when the manager and players can better interact with Malaysian based supporters in a suitable environment."

Kuala Lumpur remained shrouded in haze on Wednesday as the environmental crisis continued after a week of thick 'hazardous' smog covered Malaysia and neighbours Singapore.

Air quality in Singapore has improved significantly in recent days but the crisis - caused mostly from fires set on palm oil plantations on Indonesia's Sumatra island - could cost the two countries an estimated $9 billion (5.8 billion pounds).

While Cardiff opted against breathing in the poor air, local matches have continued to be played in Malaysia despite hazardous pollution readings and warnings.

"It is unhealthy, especially, for athletes, who train intensively. Prolonged exposure could cause cell mutations leading to cancer," National Sports Institute (NSI) chief executive officer Dr Ramlan Abdul Aziz told Malaysia's New Straits Times daily on Wednesday.

Dr Ramlan said it was unhealthy to play matches if the Air Pollution Index (API) was over 100 and the paper said Tuesday's Super League match between PKNS and Selangor went ahead on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur despite a reading of 252.

English Premier League side Chelsea are due to play an exhibition match in Malaysia next month with Spanish champions Barcelona will also play a friendly in Kuala Lumpur in August.

Indonesia president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said they were doing everything they could to contain the fires on the island of Sumatra, including the deployment of military aircraft to water bomb the blazes.

(Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Did you find this article insightful?

Yes
No

Next In Football

Guardiola says City players will be dropped if they think title race is over
Shocked Jiangsu fans hope for takeover after axe falls on club
Premier League top-four finish would be a dream for Everton, says Ancelotti
Real to keep calm and carry on after winning streak disrupted - Zidane
Johnson backs UK bid for 2030 World Cup, offers stadiums for Euro 2020 games
Real Madrid's Vinicius salvages last-gasp draw with Sociedad
Everton enjoy rare home win as Richarlison sinks Saints
Ibrahimovic and Mihajlovic to sing 1970s hit at Sanremo festival
Wolves' Traore uses baby oil to blaze past defenders - Nuno
Crotone's Stroppa replaced by Cosmi at basement club

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers