Disorderly conduct, chaos and hooliganism engulfed Kuala Lumpur’s Shah Alam Stadium when Vietnam’s 2-1 victory against Malaysia in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup last night took a violent turn as the home team’s fans ignited a bloody attack against the guest supporters.
Like the sore losers they were, the frustrated Malaysia fans couldn’t cope with their loss and started flinging bottles at the Vietnamese, which marked the beginning of a mass brawl between the two neighbouring countries. The fight was also said to have erupted by the fact that some of the Malaysian fans failed to get a seat and was forced to stand among the Vietnamese.
Some Malaysians also tried to provoke the Vietnamese by showing their clenched fists at them.Some even attemptedÂ to attack police officers.
After police took control of the situation, the injured Vietnamese fans were taken to a corner of the stadium for first aid.
This wasn’t the first time Malaysian fans went berserk at the stadium. In the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup semi first leg, the Malaysians beat Vietnam 2-0 thanks to laser beams the host fans projected at the Vietnamese goalkeeper, and went on to a 0-0 draw in Hanoi to make it to the final. This year, they have moved on to physical assault.
The bloody brawl garnered widespread media attention and was a hot topic of debate, even got to the nerves ofÂ Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who blasted at local football fans who attacked Vietnamese fans during last night’s AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final at the Shah Alam Stadium, and offered his apology to Vietnamese supporters.
“These violent fans do not represent Malaysia. My sincere apologies on behalf of Malaysia for the actions of these small number of irresponsible thugs,” the newswire quoted him as saying.
Khairy also reportedly expressed his concern about the return game in Hanoi later this week following the bloody attack on the Vietnamese fans.
“These irresponsible people don’t think what would happen to our fans when we play in Hanoi, Vietnam, for the second leg,” the minister said.
Football hooliganism has become a social ‘disease’ in our shores, with super-fanatic fans refused to call the game ‘just football’ and took it as a matter of life-and-death.
This shameful behaviour has got to end before it gets out of hand.Â Â Preventative measures must be designed to stop potential troublemakers to cause catastrophe in matches– both home and abroad.
Stricter sanctions must be introduced to stop violence from rearing its ugly head again in Malaysian football. FAM should consider to take a page from what the Spanish Sports Council (CSD), Professional Football League Association (LFP) and Football Federation (RFEF) did last week in order to map out hooliganism.
In the petition signed and sealed last week, the powerhouse football associations all agreed to introduce new legislation to curb violent football-related behaviour, including measures to close stadiums, deduct points and even relegate clubs to lower divisions.
Furthermore, regulations to control the allocation of tickets to fans, including the organisation of trips to away matches, as well as compiling a list of violent groups should also be proposed.
The police and FRU should also be present at stadiums to oversee security and ensure that no racist or extremist behaviour is tolerated.
We need to go back to the times when football serves as a social proxy in bringing people together. Football used to be a game that helped in bridging the social gaps, not set it on fire.Â MYNEWSHUB