The football association comes under fire for hiking up ticket prices. Online forums are now ridddled with angry comments.
The Malaysian Football Association had not explained why the price was increased from the usual RM20 to RM30 for the turnstiles.
Angry fans now accused the association of “corruption and greed”.
Fans thronged popular online local football forums like lowyat.net’s football lounge, Harimau Malaya and Ultras Malaya to voice their disapproval of the move while a Facebook page – 100,000 protest against FAM’s decision to increase price ticket for the Malaysia-Singapore match – had been set up.
Comments polled on these websites by FMT showed that many felt that the main contention was not the price set for the tickets but the lack of an explanation behind the hike.
“It is not a matter of RM30. I can afford to pay but I want to know why FAM can simply change the prices of tickets without giving any explanation,” read one posting.
Another fan accused FAM of profiteering, saying that it was exploiting local fans “dying” to flood the Bukit Jalil National Stadium to watch the Harimau Malaya edge off its southern nemesis in the second round of the World Cup qualifying match on July 28.
Malaysia got through to the second round after beating Chinese Taipei on away goals to set up what many diehards described as “the perfect match” but FAM’s “overnight” decision to increase ticket prices had left many disenchanted, fuelling the possibility of a boycott.
FAM charged only RM20 for the first round World Cup qualifying game against Taiwan but had previsously charged RM30 for the the AFF Suzuki Cup final against another archrival Indonesia.
The fans are now wondering why the same amount as was charged for the AFF Suzuki Cup final was being charged for a second round World Cup qualifying match.
FAM had long suffered from a credibility crisis and was largely blamed for the near-collapse of Malaysian football. But winning the coveted AFF Cup last December gave it a lifeline.
But FAM sparked further anger when it started raising ticket prices immediately after the victory, a move seen as “capitalistic” and “opportunistic” at a time when Malaysian football was just picking itself up.
However, the excitement of watching Malaysian football rise outweighed the fans’ anger over FAM’s sudden move to increase ticket prices to RM20 from RM10, said one fan.
But the further hike for the match against Singapore, the fan warned, would be the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.
FAM was not available for comment.
The first leg of the qualifying round two will be played in the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore this Saturday. The return leg is at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on July 28 (Thursday).