KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8, 2015:
The World Cup 2018 qualifier between Harimau Malaya against Saudi Arabia ended in a cloud of smoke after several local supporters threw flares and smoke bombs onto the football pitch when the match was still going on in the 88th minute.
In addition to the barrage, the irresponsible fans also acted wildly by further setting off fireworks immediately afterwards, directing some of their aim at police officers and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) personnel stationed throughout the Shah Alam Stadium.
It is learnt that the Saudi fans were also targeted by the local fans, believed to be part of the Ultras Malaya supporters group, forcing them to run to the exits.
This forced the match referee to call off the match earlier to avoid further incidents.
The score stood at 2-1 to Saudi Arabia at the time the match was called off.
Malaysia had taken the lead thanks to Safiq Rahim’s strike in the 70th minute after a stellar defensive performance throughout the duration of the match till then.
However, Saudi Arabia quickly responded through two quick goals in the space of three minutes through Taiseer Al-Jassam (72th minute) and Mohammed al Sahlawi (75th minute)
Later, the match’s official commissioner, Prince Rufus from India, is learnt to have announced that the game had been officially abandoned.
Meanwhile, a clearly irate Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin blamed both the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as well as irresponsible fans for the incident.
Pointing out the poor security at the Shah Alam Stadium, Khairy opined that FAM should have ensured tighter security.
“I was at the Stadium SA (Shah Alam) tonight. Witnessing the humiliating incident.“FAM lost control of their own stadium. Fans throwing flares were wrong. Both at fault tonight,” Khairy said in a series of tweets.