Sahabat Maya :

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tense and anxious mood hours before kick off

Tense and anxious mood hours

before kick off


JAKARTA: Its hours away to kick off and the tense atmosphere could be felt outside The Sultan hotel where the Malaysian football team is staying on Wednesday.

It has been tense ever since the team arrived Monday and since Malaysia beat the Indonesians 3-0 in Sunday's AFF Suzuki Cup final first leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

In fact, the Malaysians have a bird's eye view of the going-ons outside the hotel, a five-minute drive from the Gelora Bung Karno stadium, venue of the much-awaited second leg.

Since morning, red-shirted Indonesian fans began to arrive in large numbers at the stadium.

Fans anxiously waiting for the game to start.

Some have been camping there the whole night. The car horns have been blaring most of the day and traffic is starting to come to a standstill.

The TV stations started their live coverage early by conducting on-the-spot interviews and game assessment from the fans at the stadium.

Team manager Datuk Subahan Kamal said they have been provided with adequate security and even given a senior police officer to attend to the team's needs round-the-clock.

"The mood is good inside (the team) but we are quite worried what is going to happen outside. I was told that it is tensed out there.

"The Indonesian fans are upset with our victory in the first-leg at Bukit Jalil," Subahan told The Star.

Coach K. Rajagopal advised the boys to remain focussed and not get distracted by the happenings outside.

"We have a game to play on the field. What happens outside is not our concern. We came to play football," said Rajagopal.

FA of Malaysia (FAM) deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah joined the team for lunch Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the team's final training at the Senayan C ground was called off due to security concerns.

Even their plans to train at an alternative venue backfired when they got caught in a traffic jam. Rajagopal was left with no other choice but to concentrate on light training at the hotel grounds.

There were reports of Indonesian fans mobbing them with banners carrying anti-Malaysia slogans during the training at the hotel ground.


Wednesday December 29, 2010

M'sian team trains at hotel

as tensions remain high in Jakarta


JAKARTA: Tensions remained high in the Indonesian capital as football fans awaited the much-anticipated Asean Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup final second-leg match tonight.

Indonesian fans are upset with the Malaysians, alleging that laser light beams had been shone on the faces of the republic’s players to distract them in the first-leg match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Malaysia won that match 3-0.

The Jakarta Metropolitan Police are serious about keeping the peace and are deploying 10,000 policemen at the Bung Karno Stadium. Police have also banned sharp weapons and the use of lasers or firecrackers by spectators. Some 85,000 fans are expected at the match.

The training session for the Malaysian team – originally scheduled to be held at the stadium amid tight security – was moved to the hotel where they are staying, for safety reasons.

Even Malaysian journalists were advised not to wear the national colours for security reasons. Many turned up in red, pretending to be Indonesian newsmen.

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