Stop unacceptable behaviour at football matches

    (Updated )

    LETTER | Last night’s unpleasant episode at the Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia, which affected our Malaysian football fans, was truly unacceptable.

    It was a qualifying match for the World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023, but sadly, we were served with low-class behaviour by some of the home fans who displayed their anger for no reason.

    What actually stoked the Indonesian fans’ anger about the presence of the Malaysian fans at the stadium?

    Were they actually unhappy with the Harimau Malaya’s victory? Or had they felt disrupted by the harmonious yet loud chants of a section of ardent Malaysian fans who call themselves Ultras Malaya?

    If the Indonesian supporters felt that way, they need to mend the way they think about football.

    Football is obviously not a sport that assures players or teams with consistent victories. As we know, there is a winner and also a loser in football.

    But a defeat must not be treated negatively or to be replied in an uncivilised manner.

    For me, football is all about celebrating differences of both teams on the pitch. And to witness how one of the teams utilises the differences to earn a victory.

    If a team tastes defeat, its supporters should not react adversely. Throwing objects at the opposition’s supporters would not change the result.

    No amount of anger or violence can overturn a defeat into victory.

    Whatever that happened off the pitch during the dramatic yet entertaining match between our Harimau Malaya and Indonesia must not be repeated during the return leg match that will soon be held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

    As loyal Harimau Malaya fans, we must show to the rest of the world that revenge or any form of vengeance should not be associated with Malaysian football.

    Instead, we should welcome the Indonesian fans to the stadium happily in the true spirit of Asean brotherhood.

    Football is about uniting people, not dividing us.

    Lastly, to the Harimau Malaya squad, we Malaysians will always be with you wherever you are.

    The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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