12 arrested over chaos at Malaysia match

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KUALA LUMPUR(AFP) – Twelve people have been arrested after fans stormed a stadium hosting a Malaysian football championship semi-final and forced the game to be called off amid chaotic scenes, police said Wednesday.

In the latest black eye for trouble-plagued Malaysian football, fans threw water bottles and stones and stormed the pitch Tuesday night in the eastern state of Pahang.

The outburst was apparently sparked when some spectators were denied entry, district police officer Aziz Ahmad told AFP.

He said some 40,000 people thronged the 35,000-capacity Darulmakmur stadium in the east coast town of Kuantan for the Malaysian Football Association Cup’s second-leg semi-final between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim.

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“Some fans who bought tickets were not allowed to enter so they were really disappointed. We believe the tickets may have been oversold but that’s for the state’s FA (football association) to answer,” Aziz said.

Twelve men were arrested and were being investigated for damaging property, Aziz said, adding several people sustained slight injuries.

A Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) official who asked not to be named said the sport’s authorities would meet in Kuala Lumpur later Wednesday to discuss the incident.

The match will be rescheduled, he said.

Malaysians are football-mad but their patience has been repeatedly tested by problems besetting the sport, particularly allegations of match-fixing.

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In one of the most recent cases, football authorities last week promised to investigate claims of match-rigging during a second-tier Malaysian Premier League match and urged police to protect players amid reports of death threats by bookies.

Last year FAM suspended 18 youth players and banned a coach for life for match-fixing.

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