SEPANG: The national football team will get a massive morale boost in their crucial second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final match against Thailand thanks to AirAsia.
The Harimau Malaya held the War Elephants to a goalless draw after a tigerish performance in the first leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Saturday (Dec 1).
The second leg will be held at Bangkok's Rajamangala Stadium tonight (Dec 5) and AirAsia has offered a price of RM349 (to and fro) on a special flight to/from Bangkok to spur on the team.
A total of 160 Malaysian football fans, including the Ultras Malaya, quickly snapped up the offer.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said the airline has always been supportive of Malaysian athletes, and now Malaysian football fans too.
Riad added that full cooperation and support from the regulatory bodies enabled the special flight to take off.
"Sports is something close to our hearts, more so when it comes to Malaysian sports, so we are happy to be supporting the country," said Riad after a special sending off ceremony at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2).
"We believe in Ultras Malaya, ekor Harimau Malaya (tail of Malayan tigers), and it was only proper to help them and the other fans of our national football team to get to where the action is."
"We got the full support and approval from the regulatory bodies for this special flight to happen in a short notice, and we need to thank them for their support as well."
Meanwhile, Ultra Malaya spokesman Mohd Faizal Amrie welcomed the support from AirAsia and hopes that more special flights will be on offer when the Malaysian football team is playing aboard.
"The Ultras Malaya will always back the national team. This is my second away match in the AFF Suzuki Cup after the group stage match against Vietnam in Hanoi," said the 35-year-old Seremban local.
"I have spent more than RM3,000 in this edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup.
"But for me it's nothing, because it's my passion. If Malaysia qualifies to the final, I'll get on the flight again to support the team."