BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Ahead of their third season in the Premier League, university side UKM FC intends to play their home matches at the mini stadium located inside the university, in Bandar Baru Bangi.
In the preliminary league fixtures released by the Malaysian Football League last month, it was revealed that the Varsity Boys would be playing their home matches at the 500-seater ground this season, having spent the previous two seasons playing at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium and the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium.
When met by Goal on Wednesday, UKM head coach Sulaiman Hussin confirmed the plan.
Sulaiman Hussin. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal
"We are planning to play [home matches] here, but it all depends on several factors such as finances. The board is trying to make it happen with the assistance of interested sponsors and partners. We really want to play here.
"We will know whether this could be done within the coming two or three weeks. If not, we will use Selayang again," said the former Kuala Lumpur player.
They had used the stadium of the university they are representing, the National University of Malaysia (UKM) as their home ground when they were still competing in the university league and then the third tier, but a promotion to the Premier League in 2018 neccessitated the move to venues that meet league requirements.
However, our observation of the ground on the same day, when UKM hosted Super League team Selangor in a pre-season friendly, revealed that no construction seemed to be taking place, despite the renovations that are expected to be made on smaller grounds that are set to host Super League or Premier League matches.
For example, before another university club, UiTM FC were allowed to use their university stadium for home matches, they were made to close off the ground perimeters so that only ticket-purchasing fans can watch the matches. But no wall was seen to be erected around the UKM ground.
Even more bizarrely, fans attending the Selangor friendly were charged RM10 (around USD2.5) if they came in at the grandstand, despite the fact that they could simply watch the encounter for free from outside the ground.
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