Last night’s AFF Suzuki Cup game saw disappointment when Malaysia’s Harimau Malaya team lost 2 – 1 to Vietnam in the first-leg semi-final at the Shah Alam Stadium. The former AFF Cup Champions seemed to have lost the flair that they had when they played Singapore less than 2 weeks ago, and won over the neighbouring country 3 – 1.
According to NST, a whopping total of 65,000 fans turned up at the Shah Alam Stadium last night to support their teams, which a majority of it being Malaysians. However, when the referee blew the final whistle, things quickly went awry.
As reported by Vietnamese news outlet Tuoi Tre News, shortly after the referee blew the final whistle, a number of Malaysian fans rushed to assault the Vietnamese in the stands. The Malaysian fans were angered by their home team’s loss, fueled by the fact that some of them failed to get a seat and had to stand among the Vietnamese supporters, according to the Tuoi Tre reporter.
NST reported that fans threw kicks and punches at each other until the authorities stopped the fight. Plastic bottles were also hurled at the Vietnamese fans. As such, some Vietnamese fans escaped unscathed but others weren’t as lucky:
*Pictures from satusabah.com.
As such, a mere few hours ago, Malaysian Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin extended his apology to Vietnamese football fans over the actions of a group of Malaysian thugs who attacked them during the closing stages of the AFF Suzuki Cup first-leg semi-final tie. Khairy also said that while he was waiting for the official report from the police and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), he accepted and saw with his own eyes the attack on the Vietnamese fans.
He also posted up a statement on his Facebook page this morning which said:
To me, what was more disappointing last night was not the defeat we faced on the pitch, but the actions of a handful of Malaysian supporters towards the Vietnamese supporters.
Although I am still waiting for an official report from the police and FAM, based on the information I received and what I myself saw, the Vietnamese supporters were attacked by a handful of fans at Stadium Shah Alam Malaysia during the semi-final of the AFF Suzuki Cup .
There is no excuse for violent behaviour. More so towards the guests in our country. Is this the way we treat guests? Regardless if they are here on holiday or if they are working here, this isn’t Malaysian culture.
Because they are irresponsible, they didn’t consider what would happen to our supporters who are going to Hanoi, Vietnam for the second game. Are their actions not considered provocation and therefore poses a security risk to Malaysian fans in Hanoi?
Because these thugs will not apologise and there will be no response from FAM yet, I apologise to the Vietnamese fans who were attacked at the Shah Alam Stadium last night. I will ask the police to investigate this matter immediately and to take the necessary actions. These violent fans do not represent Malaysia. My sincere apologies on behalf of Malaysia for the actions of these small number of irresponsible thugs.
We hope for a great second leg in Hanoi, competitive on the field and friendly in the stands.
Malaysia will head to Hanoi on Thursday (11th Dec) with an impossible mission the AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final first leg match at Shah Alam Stadium today.