Harimau Malaya may have to play at a neutral ground or an empty stadium should the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) be found guilty of the actions of the Ultras Malaya during the friendly match between Malaysia and Philippines earlier this month.
The Ultras Malaya, Malaysia’s number one supporter group, set off flares and threw smoke bombs onto the pitch during the game, resulting the game being stopped for a brief period of time. The game ended 0-0.
FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin confirmed that they received a letter from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) last week, accusing the organisation of three different charges.
“We received the letters from AFC last Thursday and we have to reply quickly, but I’m going to try to postpone it,” Datuk Hamidin said.
“AFC has sent the letter based on the reports made by the match commissioner and because it’s an A-Class status of a friendly, we have been charged under Articles 65, 66 and 67.”
“Under the three articles, it refers to the dangerous and violent attitudes shown by the audience where flares, firecrackers and smoke bombs were thrown that led for the match to be stopped.
“The punishments can be in many ways, such as not being able to play at our own stadium or we have to play at neutral ground but for now, nothing is for certain yet and it is up to the AFC to decide.”
It has been reported that the Ultras Malaya intentionally set off the flares and smoke bombs as protest for the current President of FAM, Sultan Ahmad Shah, to step down after holding onto the position for 30 years.