Press Releases ● May 17, 2015
FAS Thanks FAM, Terengganu FA and Local Police for Looking After the Lionsxii and Fans
SINGAPORE, 17 MAY 2015: The Football Association of Singapore wishes to assure the public that both the LionsXII team and the Singapore fans who travelled to Kuala Terengganu to support them in their Malaysia FA Cup semi-final second leg match are safe and sound, thanks to the local authorities who looked after them at the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium after the game.
After last night’s game, as a result of safety precautions taken by the LionsXII team, the tour organisers who brought the LionsXII fans to Kuala Terengganu, as well as the local authorities, everyone left the venue safely.
The LionsXII returned to Singapore by plane today (Sunday, 17 May) at 1pm, while tour organiser Akbar Hashim’s group of Singapore Die-Hard Fans will be back home by this evening.
FAS president Zainudin Nordin said: “Football is a platform to promote friendship and the spirit was demonstrated between both teams after the game. I would like to say a big thank you to our friends and partners in Terengganu who looked after our team and our fans last night.
“Our officials in Singapore were in regular contact with the team after the match and they had assured us that the authorities in Terengganu were in control of the situation.
“We are pleased that the team returned home safely and in high spirits this afternoon at 1pm. Though the boys and officials are tired, their minds are now focused on the big match this weekend.”
LionsXII striker Khairul Amri, whose two goals last night helped the team to reach its first Malaysia FA Cup final, agreed.
“The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), the Terengganu FA, and the police ensured that we all got back to our hotel safely last night,” he said.
“We had to wait inside the stadium for a while for things to calm down, but it was okay.
“On behalf of the team, I’d like to say a big thank you to the 200-odd LionsXII fans who travelled to support us yesterday. We are also very touched by all the messages of concern for our safety that kept coming in from Singapore.
“I can understand why Terengganu fans were upset. That is the passion they have for their team. But the Terengganu players, and even a number of their fans congratulated us for getting into the final, which made us feel very good.”
Tour operator Akbar Hashim said that he and his traveling fans are all in good shape, thanks to the local authorities. “We always felt safe and never in danger,” he said.
“After the game, the police and security officers told us to wait inside the stadium for a while. We stayed for a few hours.
“After that, they not only provided mobile escorts but even two lorries full of policemen to escort our coaches back to our hotel.”
Akbar said two of his tour buses suffered some damage from frustrated Terengganu fans but he added that he could understand why they were so emotional.
“Every fan will always want their team to win. They were angry mainly with the match officials, not with the LionsXII, and not with us Singapore fans,” he said.
Akbar said he and his fellow supporters are now planning to support the LionsXII at this Saturday’s Cup final in Bukit Jalil. In fact, he will be booking 30 coaches for the trip because he anticipates a swell of interest in the game.
“My message to all my fellow supporters, and people who travel with us, is always very simple – when you are in another country, just respect their laws, and show good sportsmanship.
“The LionsXII want to create history by winning the FA Cup for the first time. So let us all go up together to support our team,” he said.
FAS president Zainudin added: “Seeing our coaches and players in tears after last night’s match tells me how much a place in the final means to them. So let us turn up as one united team behind the team on Saturday and roar on our boys.”
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE