SHAH ALAM – Harimau Malaya interim head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee is leaving the fate of the national football team to FIFA following the wild antics of hardcore home fans during the Malaysia-Saudi Arabia match at the Shah Alam Stadium last night.
Match referee, Liu Kwok Man of Hong Kong had to stop the Group A match in the 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifier in the 88th minute after a group of supporters believed to be from ‘Ultras Malaya’ started to throw flares and firecrackers on the field, forcing players and officials to seek refuge at their respective changing rooms.
“I think I won’t talk about that (commotion)…It is shameful but the Malaysian players gave a good account. They followed instructions and were cohesive as a team and we almost pulled off an upset,” he told reporters after the match.
“Well it is up to FIFA to decide later. We have to bear the consequences,” stressed Kim Swee. Saudi Arabia were leading 2-1 when the match was called off.
Normally under such circumstances, FIFA can award a 3-0 victory to the opposing team.
National defender, Mohd Razman Roslan was disappointed with the attitude of the handful of supporters who created the ruckus when Malaysia could have chalked an upset against Saudi Arabia.
“I am disappointed with these fans and hope the incident will not recur,” said the Pahang squad captain.
Sharing this view was national midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar who said such wild actions should not have taken place when Malaysia are the host.
“The fans need to be more positive and continue giving their support. For me it is something which should not have happened,” said the Kedah midfield player.
National goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat did not expect the fans to create such a furore by throwing flares on the pitch when the match was still going on.
“I am ashamed of the fans’ wild actions and it gives a negative image on our team as hosts,” said the goalkeeper from Kelantan.