FIFA launch probe into Malaysia incident
Source: MBC Pro Sports
Fifa has begun a probe into the crowd disturbances that led to the match between the UAE’s World Cup qualifying group rivals Malaysia and Saudi Arabia being abandoned on Tuesday.
World football’s governing body has asked the Football Association of Malaysia to provide them with DVDs of the incidents, which involved protesting fans throwing flares on to the pitch.
Referee Liu Kwok Man of Hong Kong was forced to stop the match two minutes before time, with Saudi Arabia leading 2-1.
Match commissioner Prince Rufus of India abandoned the game 30 minutes later after police and the Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) were unable to restore order in the stands at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor.
Fifa will now decide on the outcome of the match and consider possible sanctions against Malaysia.
“All I know is that Fifa will analyse the recordings before making a decision. They [Fifa] want us to provide three copies of the DVD recordings [of the incident]. They sent us an email this morning,” an FAM spokesman said on Friday.
The disturbances are thought to have been caused by a supporters’ group known as âUltras Malaya’, who were protesting after Malaysia were thumped 10-0 away to the UAE last Thursday.
This left the south-east Asians bottom of the 2018 World Cup qualifying Asian zone Group A with a solitary point, six behind leaders the UAE, and led to the resignation of coach Dollah Salleh last Friday.
Saudi Arabia lie second, a point behind Mahdi Ali’s men, but would have gone top had Tuesday’s game finished with the scoreline intact.
Match commissioner Rufus said: “The match was unfit to be continued. We will send a report to Fifa and await further instructions.”
FAM can expect severe punishment from Fifa as this is not the first time that a football game in Malaysia has been disrupted by crowd trouble.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) fined FAM $10,000 (Dh37,000) for poor security last year, Then, fans interrupted the national team’s friendly against the Philippines at the Selayang Stadium in Selangor by letting off fireworks and lighting flares and smoke bombs.
The AFC had also warned that the national team may be forced to play behind closed doors if such an incident happened again.