KUALA LUMPUR: A yellow, black and green hue engulfed the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the FA Cup final.
Endless chants and cheers reverberated from four corners of the 80,000-capacity stadium.
The stands were packed to the rafters by fans adorned in their team’s colours and ready to shout themselves hoarse come kick-off time.
Fans came as early as 1pm to enjoy the festivities outside the stadium area, and when the gates were open at 4pm, they immediately went to their seats and livened up the atmosphere with their attire and banners providing an electrifying atmosphere to the whole stadium.
This is what they call the Cup final fever. A congregation of die-hard football fans to cheer on Perak and Kedah in their battle for the FA Cup.
The Perak Ultras, known as the Silver state boys, certainly hogged the show as they sang the state anthem and wore “Storm Trooper” masks. When asked what’s the significance, one fan said it was common for the Ultras to wear masks on match days, and this time, they decided to wear the “Star Wars” masks.
They also sang the famed ‘Sha laa laaa’ chant made famous by their former player Gilmar Filho during Perak’s truimph in the Malaysia Cup final last year.
And surprisingly Kedah and Perak fans were also seen praying together outside the stadium area – probably asking for an act of providence.
Not to be outdone, Kedah fans waved their green and yellow flags and sang the club’s anthem coupled with several Mexican waves.
Football rivalries are usually heated during finals but it’s different when it comes to Kedah and Perak as they believe they are the Northern Brothers.
Perak coach Mehmet Durakovic and his Kedah counterpart Aidil Sharin Sahak said they were expecting a full house as their fans were the driving force in their Cup run.
“The fans were behind us throughout the campaign and I expect them to cheer us all the way,” said Durakovic.
Aidil said, “Kedah have to thank their fans because they are the ones who make the atmosphere lively. When my boys are down, they are there to cheer them up. That’s what makes football so thrilling and exciting to play and watch.”
Believe it or not, Marvel comics characters were also a hit with fans coming into the stadium as Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk.
In the stands, the Seladang (Perak) and Red Eagles (Kedah) supporters were seen sitting together for the match proper.
And the dignitaries were in attendance too – Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah, Sultan of Kedah, Al Aminul Karim Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
The Malaysian Football League (MFL) also initiated a ‘Viking Clap’ record-breaking effort by asking fans from both sides to do the clap and create a new Malaysia Book of Records attempt.
The Viking clap is the action of clapping your hands and making a vocal sound at the same time, at increasing speed.
It was made popular by the Icelandic team at the European Football Championship in 2016.