Malaysia punished for crowd trouble at WC qualifier

Saudi Arabia awarded 3-0 win and Malaysia ordered to play next home qualifier behind closed doors.

Saudi Arabia were leading 2-1 when players walked off the pitch [Reuters]
Saudi Arabia were leading 2-1 when players walked off the pitch [Reuters]

Malaysia have been issued with a formal warning and a raft of other sanctions from FIFA after their World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia last month was abandoned because of crowd trouble.

FIFA’s disciplinary committee ruled that the match had been deemed to be forfeited by Malaysia, awarding Saudi Arabia a 3-0 win, and Malaysia’s next World Cup qualifier at home, against UAE on November 17, would be played without any spectators.

FIFA took a dim view of the crowd disturbances in Malaysia and announced more penalties against the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), which was hosting the match so deemed to be responsible for crowd control.

FIFA also fined the FAM 40,000 Swiss francs ($41,203) and issued a warning.

The visiting Saudi Arabia team were leading 2-1 in the Group A Asian qualifier at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor on September 8 when play was stopped three minutes from the end after fans launched flares and fireworks on to the pitch.

Players from both teams fled the pitch as thick smoke began filling the ground and did not return.

The match was later abandoned and a report on the incident sent to FIFA.

Malaysia have slipped to 171st in the latest world rankings and are already bottom of the group standings after suffering a record 10-0 loss to UAE, infuriating some local supporters who had threatened to protest during the match.

Source: Reuters


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