Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Angry fans halt Malaysia World Cup qualifier

Flare-throwing fans forced Malaysia's World Cup qualifier with Saudi Arabia to be abandoned on Tuesday as they vented their anger over last week's record 10-0 defeat to UAE.
Militant "Ultras Malaya" fans hurled flares billowing orange smoke late in the game as the hosts trailed 2-1, forcing players, officials and other supporters to take cover.
Officials cleared Shah Alam Stadium and after a lengthy suspension, the match was formally called off. Police said 11 people had been arrested on charges of rioting.
"The game is suspended. The game isn't going to continue," interim coach Ong Kim Swee told AFP.
Last week's result in Abu Dhabi has tipped Malaysia into crisis, with former coach Dollah Salleh resigning and the national governing body's football also promising to quit.
Tuesday's ugly scenes heap yet more woe on football in Malaysia, which hosts the Asian Football Confederation headquarters but has long been plagued by fan violence and match-fixing.
About a dozen flares trailing orange smoke -- as well as loud fireworks -- were let off by home fans in the 88th minute. Unconfirmed reports said two Saudi supporters were attacked.
Stand-in coach Ong had earlier urged fans not to disrupt the game in protest at last week's defeat, which was the latest in a series of embarrassing results.
Earlier Malaysia were held 1-1 at home by East Timor and lost 6-0 to Palestine. They lie bottom of Group A in the World Cup qualifiers, which double as a route to the 2019 Asian Cup.