Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, President of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), is willing to meet representatives from Ultras Malaya ’07 (UM07) to iron out their differences.
In recent weeks, the Malaysian football supporters' group has been calling for boycotts of the upcoming visits of English giants Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool to Malaysia.
Dubbing them as “circus games”, the group is dissatisfied with both fixtures interrupting the regular football season in Malaysia and disrupting the Harimau Malaya’s preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo Malaysia on Wednesday, Tengku Abdullah wished that the campaign will be called off.
“It is inaccurate to say that these one-off matches are not beneficial,” he said.
“I consider each of these matches as a great opportunity for the local players to observe some of the best players in the world in action and learn from them.
“Besides that, we need to think of the fans that want to see international clubs [like Tottenham and Liverpool] come and play in Malaysia.
“I see it as our social responsibility to the English football fans in the country[who have never watched their teams play ‘live’].
“All in all, we want to be a good host to any club or team that visit Malaysia, and I hope we will not do things that could negatively affect the country’s reputation.”
To soothe the situation, he said that he is willing to meet representatives from the supporters' group.
“I am willing to meet them, but it is not as if I do not know what their demands are.
“They want the national team to perform better and have a better FIFA world ranking, which I completely understand because I myself also want Malaysia to be successful in the international football scene.
“It is not like I want to see the national team fail or do badly on purpose.
“So, if it helps, I will meet them.”comments