BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysian FA (FAM) deputy president Datuk Wira Yusoff Mahadi has insisted that ticket prices for the matches in the upcoming Airmarine Cup are still affordable, despite complaints by the fans.
The friendly tournament, which will take place between 20 and 23 March at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, will see the participation of Singapore, Oman, Afghanistan and hosts Malaysia.
On the 20th, Malaysia will take on Causeway derby rivals Singapore while Oman will face Afghanistan, with the two match winners meeting in the final three days later, while the losers will play in a third-place decider.
A number of fans have pointed out that the RM35 price for the open-seating tickets is higher than the RM20 price for Malaysia's friendly matches at home last year, as well as for their 2018 AFF Championship home group encounters. (Grandstand tickets for Airmarine Cup matches are priced at RM45)
But when met by the press on the first day of Malaysia's centralised training on Tuesday, Yusoff provided a number of explanations on why the price has been set at RM35.
"First of all, the tournament is organised by an external party, not FAM. It is run by Airmarine (an international logistics company) and Proevents (a football marketing and event management consultancy), and I'm sure that they have discussed the ticket prices along with FAM.
"I can't say for sure whether the prices are affordable or not; some say they are expensive while others don't share that view. And there's also the issue of the quality of the matches. The teams invited are ranked higher than we (Malaysia) are, so fans can expect good matches. I hope fans will consider that this could be one of the factors behind the ticket prices.
"I don't think our supporters mind the difference in prices, I believe they will attend the matches although the ticket prices are slightly higher. The prices are still affordable to our loyal fans," explained Yusoff, who is also the team manager, when asked by Goal.
He was then fed another, more plausible rationale by a media officer of his association.
"Actually, the RM35 ticket price is not for one match; it's for the two games that will be held on each matchday. Fans pay that much to see the evening match and the night match later on.
"I believe that paying RM35 to watch two games is very reasonable.I hope that the fans continue supporting the team," remarked the Melaka United deputy president.
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