BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Amidst the haze that has been blanketing Malaysia for the past week or so, several Malaysia Cup matches that have been scheduled to be played this weekend seem to be in doubt.
The forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia have caused the Air Pollution Index (API) in the Klang Valley region of Malaysia, one of the worst hit regions in the country, to reach as high as 185 on Friday.
Selangor are expected to host Melaka United on Saturday in their Malaysia Cup Group D matchday five encounter in the city of Shah Alam, where the highest API reading reached 179 on Friday.
Concerns have been raised by the fans and media whether this weekend's Malaysia Cup matches scheduled to be played in the capital region of the country should go ahead amidst the haze, and according to Selangor secretary general Johan Kamal Hamidon, the decision regarding the Red Giants' match will be made within one hour of the scheduled 9.00 pm kick-off time, by competitions organiser Malaysian Football League (MFL).
"I've spoken to MFL about this, and they will only decide whether the match will go ahead one hour before. But even then, let's say the condition is okay at 8 o'clock only to worsen half an hour later, they will still postpone the match [to a later date]. They have a guideline on this matter, so we will go with this decision.
"It's okay with us as the [opposing] team is already here, while the tickets already purchased by fans can still be used in the next fixture (if the match is postponed). It's the visiting team who will be inconvenienced more than us," said Johan in a telephone call with Goal.
Interestingly, two Klang Valley fixtures that were scheduled on Friday; PKNS FC vs Negeri Sembilan at the Shah Alam Stadium and PJ City vs JDT in Petaling Jaya (API 185), took place as scheduled. Selangor players too underwent their final training as usual in Shah Alam, on the same day.
Early Saturday morning readings on air quality monitoring websites indicate that the haze is only worsening, the worst since it ostensibly began earlier this week.
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