English, Govt, KBS, Sports, youth

Deputy minister: Nothing to worry about at Jakarta’s Gelora Bung Karno

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 3 — Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Steven Sim Chee Keong has this advice for Malaysian football fans: do not get carried away with speculation of untoward incidents waiting to happen at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta when Malaysia takes on the home side in the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup qualifying campaign Group G opener on Thursday.

He said sports fans, whether Indonesians or Malaysians, want to watch a great game of football, and not one that ends with untoward incidents.

“We don’t need to speculate about bad things happening as I believe our fans are not only highly spirited but are also well behaved.

“We should place out trust in the Indonesian authorities and that they will ensure nothing bad happens,” he told reporters at the launch of the “Tour of Peninsular” (ToP) cycling event here today.

Matches against Indonesia in Jakarta before this have always been tense, and at the AFF Under-19 Championship last year, the home fans threw hard objects on the Malaysian players after they defeated the home side.

The Malaysian squad also had to be shuttled by armoured barracuda vehicles in the final of the AFF Cup in 2010 and in the final of the SEA Games the following year after they were surrounded by Indonesian fans outside the stadium. — Bernama

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