Johor Crown Prince: Keep politics out of football
KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Crown Prince Ismail Ibrahim has warned Kedah politicians from ruling party Umno to keep politics out of football, as tensions grow over a shortage of tickets for today's Malaysia Cup Final between Kedah and Johor.
In a statement posted on the Johor FC Facebook page yesterday, Tunku Ismail said Kedah Menteri Besar Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah was "not firm", allowing his subordinates to create tension between fans from both states for their own political gain.
On Wednesday, former Kedah Menteri Besar and member of the opposition Mukhriz Mahathir had alleged that Kedah fans could not get their hands on tickets because Kedah's Umno youth wing bought them in bulk to ensure that Kedah fans did not boo Mr Ahmad Bashah on Saturday.
Tunku Ismail, president of the Football Association of Malaysia, responded by requesting Football Malaysia to print an extra 1,000 tickets.
"Political agenda should not be mixed with politics. Kedah and Johor fans should not fight with one another. This is what the politicians want as this is the political party's strategy used from before in order to divide and conquer. We have to be united to rid elements of politics in football," he said.
Tunku Ismail also ticked off the Youth, Sports and Culture state executive councillor Aminuddin Omar for threatening to boycott the match because football legend and former Kedah skipper Radhi Mat Din, who is a member of opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), would feature in the opening ceremony.
"I do not care if you are a member of PAS or a member of Umno because football or sports in general have nothing to do with politics. Radhi has every right to be at the final... as he contributed tremendously for Kedah when he won the Malaysia Cup." - THE STRAITS TIMES