KUALA LUMPUR: The gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic is still quite evident but for one day, at least, footy fans can relive the fervent joy of a Cup final.
After almost one and a half years of eerie silence, the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil was reverberating to the sound of excited Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Kuala Lumpur football fans yesterday.
They had come decked out in the respective hue and masks of their team to cheer on the players in the Malaysia Cup final.
The usual food and beverages, merchandises and sponsor booths were all around the stadium. Some fans milled around buying souvenirs while others were soaking in the Cup final atmosphere, something that was missing the year before, because the Malaysia Cup tournament was aborted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
For yesterday’s final, only 20,000 fans were allowed into the stadium as stipulated by the National Security Council (MKN).
Despite it being held on a weekday, fans from Johor started trickling in from noon. Local fans arrived after they finished work at 5pm.
Most of the JDT supporters were dressed in black and sporting stripes of red and blue, symbolic of the Southern Tigers’ logo while KL fans were decked in red in solidarity with the club’s jersey colour.
Though it is not the usual 80,000 jam-packed crowd for a final, the 20,000 there certainly made it festive with their chantings and antics, especially since it is the 100th Malaysia Cup anniversary.
On social media, fans posted their plans and even shared some of the attire they would wear for the game.
JDT coach Benjamin Mora said it was nice to see the presence of the fans at the stadium and also the excitement before the showdown.
“It’s nice to see our fans come all the way from Johor to support us. The team would like to say that we are here to bring dignity to the state, club and also the owner, Tengku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who has poured his heart and soul into the club,” said Mora.