Saturday, June 1, 2013
UNRULY fans, mostly supporters without tickets forcing their way into the Darul Makmur Stadium, caused havoc during the second-leg semi-final showdown between Pahang and Darul Takzim in Kuantan on Tuesday.
A Pahang FA official said four of the stadium's gates were damaged due to the supporters forcing their way in along with bona fide RM12 ticket holders rushing for free seating.
It is learnt that a total of 30,220 open seating tickets and 1,100 grandstand tickets were sold for the match, and they sold like hot cakes. All the tickets were snapped up by 4pm on match day.
Some 41,000 fans filled the 35,000-capacity stadium after they forced their way in. Stadium personnel who were on duty at the entrance could only watch helplessly.
"Huge crowds had gathered outside the four gates, and when they managed to enter the stadium, there was no longer room on the stands. This caused some of them to spill over and occupy the track area," said the official.
"There were also some fans with tickets standing outside the stadium but were denied entry as the stands were already too crowded."
However, the Pahang FA denied that the tickets were oversold.
"Only match day and standby tickets were sold for the match. We only sold about 32,000 tickets while our stadium capacity is around 35,000."
A stadium official, who declined to be named, said team officials had protested the move to allow fans on the track as it was too close to the pitch and could be dangerous to both players and fans.
"The fans, especially children, were sitting just metres from the touchline. Furthermore, due to the packed crowd on the track area, there was just limited space for the reserve players to warm up," he said.
Even FA of Malaysia president Sultan of Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah, who was with Pahang FA president Tengku Muda Tengku Abdul Rahman and Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim in the grandstand area, had to go down to the tracks to meet the Pahang supporters and ask them to vacate the area so that the match could begin.
However, when the home fans obliged, trouble began at the other end when Darul Takzim fans entered the track area, claiming they were pelted with stones and mineral bottles outside the stadium.
Meanwhile, Pahang assistant manager, Zainal Abidin Hassan, expressed his disappointment and claimed his players were geared up for the semi-final, and it was unfortunate that they could not continue with the match.
Commenting on the move by FAM to reschedule the match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil this Saturday, Zainal said the Pahang team accept the decision and will give their best to progress to the final