Three Malaysians Injured in Jakarta Football Chaos

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Indonesian fans threw missiles on the pitch, as well as bottles and other objects towards Malaysian supporters at the stadium.

Three Malaysians were injured in the chaos that marred Harimau Malaya’s victory against Indonesia’s national team in the Group G opening match of the second round of World Cup 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifier at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta last night.

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CNN Indonesia quoted Harimau Malaya supporter Shah Fezan as saying that his friend was injured during an initial incident that forced the match to be stopped shortly after the second half had started.

EPA

The home fans aggression was confirmed through a video that went viral on social media last night showing a number of home supporters storming into the stadium and invading the area where the Malaysian supporters were seated.

The video is believed to have been recorded by spectators in the stadium which showed the Garuda squad supporters throwing bottles and various objects, including flares, from the stadium’s upper tiers towards the Harimau Malaya squad supporters.

The incident forced South Korean referee Ko Hyungjin to stop the match for almost 10 minutes.

“There were three who were injured. One of them slipped and fell during the chaos at the stadium.

“His arm broke, he was evacuated and taken to the hospital,” said Shah Fezan.

The game continued without any more trouble until the final whistle which saw Malaysia secure a valuable 3-2 win, under the guidance of head coach Tan Cheng Hoe.

The hooligan act continued outside the stadium after the match was over and hundreds of Malaysian fans, along with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, were left trapped inside for about two hours.

This was as Indonesian authorities were forced to fire teargas to break up the unruly fans.

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Indonesia’s Detik.com reported that the Republic’s Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi is expected to meet with Syed Saddiq this morning over the incident.

“I have been informed by FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) that they will lodge an official complaint with FIFA. I will also lodge a complaint with the Indonesian government and my Indonesian counterpart.

“Gangsterism must not be tolerated in any way. The safety of Malaysian players and supporters are my priority,” Syed Saddiq said in an Instagram post.

According to Bernama, all 24 national players and Malaysian officers left the stadium in five Barracuda armoured vehicles under heavy escort by Indonesian authorities. A bus was also used as a decoy vehicle to distract the attention of unruly fans.

Ahmad Nazrin Syahmi Mohamad Arif

Malaysia had gone through the same security situation twice before, when they played the home team in the finals of the 2010 AFF Cup and 2011 Sea Games.

Back then, they also had to be transported from their hotel to Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in an armoured Barracuda due to angry fans.

Last night’s victory ended a 15-year winless drought at the stadium with Malaysia’s last victory there recorded in 2004.

Malaysia’s first-ever naturalised player Mohamadou Sumareh, who came as a substitute, emerged as the hero when he netted the winning goal in added time (90 minutes + 7) to give the Harimau Malaya squad three valuable points.

The Gambian-born Sumareh also scored Malaysia’s first goal in the 37th minute, while Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad scored Malaysia’s second in 66th minute.

Indonesia’s goals came through a brace by its Brazilian born striker Alberto Goncalves in the 12th and 39th minutes.

The last time the Harimau Malaya squad won the match at the stadium was on Dec 28, 2004, defeating Indonesia 2-1 in the semi-finals of the AFF Cup.

Yesterday’s hard-earned victory, coupled with Southeast Asian giants’ Thailand and Vietnam’s scoreless draw in Phatum Thani earlier in the night, allows Malaysia to head the five-team Group G standings with a maximum three points. United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the other team in the group.

Malaysia is set to face the UAE team at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Tuesday.