IPOH – The Perak Football Association (PAFA) refuted claims that Perak supporters were involved the riot at the State Stadium in Kuching during a Malaysia Cup match between Sarawak and Perak, last Saturday.
Perak team manager Datuk Azhar Ahmad said the accusation was baseless since the Sarawak Football Association had announced that no tickets were sold to Perak fans after concerns that there could be bad blood following the alleged assault of a Sarawak fan during the first leg match in Ipoh, two weeks ago.
“The Sarawak Football Association had in a statement published in the Borneo Post had stated that since the arrival of the Perak team was its responsibility, no tickets will be sold to Perak fans for fear of their safety,” he told reporters here Monday.
He was commenting on a report by a private television station that claimed Perak fans were also involved in the riot at the State Stadium in Kuching, Sarawak.
Azhar said even a day before the match, about 20 individuals who arrived at the Perak team’s training session had started using abusive language, including raising racial sentiments at the players who were training.
Following the incident, we had contacted the police and worked closely with the Sarawak Football Association to ensure the safety of players at the hotel and at the stadium, he said.
“Before the match we had briefed the players to quickly make their way to the dressing room to avoid any untoward incident. Though the security at the stadium was under control during the match, there was provocation.
“Due to the rioting, we had to stay in the dressing room for three hours after the match because the situation was dangerous,” he said.
Azhar said the association would submit a report to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), regarding the incident.
The fans were apparently unhappy with the exit of Sarawak from the Malaysia Cup competition after managing just a 1-1 draw against Perak. – Bernama