Sports minister demands ‘justice’ after Indonesia cop dismisses chaos over Malaysia win in World Cup qualifier

Jerry Choong
Police detain a supporter of Indonesia next to supporters of Malaysia (in black) after an incident during the Fifa World Cup preliminary qualification round 2 at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta September 5, 2019. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman today demanded “justice” on behalf of Malaysia after an Indonesian police official purportedly made light of the Jakarta stadium chaos following last Thursday’s World Cup qualifying match between both countries.

“I demand justice,” he tweeted in response to a CNN Indonesia news report of local police denying rioting at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium during the Malaysia-Indonesia match.

The youth and sports minister did not elaborate on what kind of justice he was seeking.

Instead, Syed Saddiq, who was among the Malaysians at the Jakarta stadium cheering for their home team and caught in the crossfire, questioned the use of tear gas for crowd control.

He took particular issue with the reported description by Indonesia’s Metro Jaya police head of public relations Commissioner Argo Yuwono of the violence as “only throwing water”.

“If it was only water throwing, why was the match stopped until the situation calmed down? Why was there the need to fire tear gas?” Syed Saddiq tweeted.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman shouts slogans during the Fifa World Cup preliminary qualification round 2 between Malaysia and Indonesia at Gelora Bung Karno stadium in Jakarta September 5, 2019. — AFP pic

The minister continued by pointing out that Malaysian supporters had to be quarantined by the police for over two hours, and that he personally witnessed metal objects being hurled at them.

Thursday’s match between Malaysia and Indonesia for Group G of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup second qualifying round saw some 50,000 home supporters throw bottles and flares at Malaysian fans at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Malaysia eventually won the match with a 3-2 score.

Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi met Syed Saddiq yesterday to apologise for the conduct of Indonesian fans, expressing regret over the ruckus caused by them.

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