|By Khalis Rifhan
The signs were there weeks before their opening game against Singapore in the AFF Suzuki Cup, but fans of the Harimau Malaya stood firm and lent their support for their team.
Malaysia had a poor run up to the tournament, drawing with Hong Kong and Bangladesh and losing to Thailand and Vietnam in early November in friendly matches.
But after their defeat on home soil against rivals Singapore, the most vocal fan group in Malaysia, Ultras Malaya, plan on making their presence felt in their next game against Laos.
The fan group is contemplating a silent protest to show their dissatisfaction and anger towards coach K. Rajagopal.
After their first match, members of the group waited for Rajagopal at the team bus and sang songs showing their support for the players but included a line, ‘What have you done, Rajagopal?’
The fans demanded a meeting with Rajagopal and an explanation for the defeat while others were also calling for the coach to apologise.
However, Rajagopal was nowhere to be seen, presumably escorted out of the stadium by security.
An Ultras Malaya fan said: “It is our dignity, what has Datuk Rajagopal has done? What has he planned so far for the team?”
“After 2010, when we won the cup, what has he done for us? We are embarrassed in our own ground. It is about our national pride and dignity.”
Malaysia take on Laos on Wednesday at 845pm at Bukit Jalil stadium. Prior to that game, Singapore will play Indonesia at 6pm at the same stadium.