Malaysia’s sports minister has urged tough sanctions after an ambulance was torched and policemen injured when fans rioted following Terengganu’s FA Cup semi-final defeat by Singapore’s Lions XII on Saturday.
Trouble broke out following a contentious end to the two-legged clash, which the Lions edged on away goals following a 4-4 draw despite a 3-2 defeat in Malaysia.
Terengganu thought they had scored a crucial goal in the 90th minute to take them through to the final against rivals Kelantan, but their celebrations were cut short after the referee correctly ruled it offside.
Paulo Rangel, who had scored twice, was then sent off for kicking the ball at an official in frustration, with team mate Gustavo Lopez also seeing red for pushing the referee as fans threw objects on to the field.
Rioting then broke out inside and outside the stadium with facilities and vehicles damaged, local media reported.
The Malay Mail said police had arrested 25 fans following the incidents.
“We will be making more arrests after we view some video recordings of the incident,” Kuala Terengganu district police chief ACP Idris Abdul Rafar told the paper.
Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin urged the Football Association of Malaysia to act swiftly.
“I wish to stress that rioting cannot be accepted. Those responsible cannot use the referee’s decision as an excuse,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysian newspapers today.
Singapore’s Straits Times said the Lions XII squad were “stranded” at the stadium for five hours because of the violence, while two supporters’ buses were also attacked.
While Lions fans look forward to a first Malaysian FA Cup final on Saturday at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, 2011 winners Terengganu were urging the FAM to conduct an investigation into the late disallowed goal.
“If no action is taken by FAM, I will not hesitate to ask the team to not compete in upcoming tournaments if it is proven that our player was not in offside position,” Terengganu Menteri Besar Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman told The Star.