BANGKOK: The national football team had a massive morale boost in their crucial second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final match against Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium – thanks to AirAsia.
The Harimau Malaya held the War Elephants to a goalless draw in the first leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Saturday.
The airline had offered a special return ticket for RM349 to Bangkok to spur the team for the return match in Bangkok last night and 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.
He said that full cooperation and support from the regulatory bodies enabled the special flight to take off.
“Sports is something close to us and 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 (KLIA2).
“We believe in Ultras Malaya and ekor Harimau Malaya supporters and it was only proper to help them and the other fans of our national football team to get where the action is.”
“We got the full support and approval from the regulatory bodies for this special flight to happen at a short notice and we need to thank them for their support as well.”
Meanwhile, one of the Ultras Malaya Mohd Faizal Amrie welcomed the support from AirAsia and hoped more special flights would be on offer when the Malaysian football team are 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 and if Malaysia qualify to the final, I’ll get on the flight again to support the team.”