SEA Games: Malaysia police probe reports of firecrackers at football semi-final

SEA Games: Malaysia police probe reports of firecrackers at football semi-final

Fireworks smoke SEA Games
There were reports of firecrackers being set off at the Shah Alam stadium after striker N Thanabalan from Malaysia scored. 

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia police said on Sunday (Aug 27) they were investigating reports of firecrackers being set off inside the Shah Alam Stadium after Malaysia scored its winning goal against Indonesia at the SEA Games football semi-final on Saturday night.

Authorities had warned spectators against bringing prohibited items including weapons and explosives to stadiums, with their bags meant to be checked at every entry point.

Perpetrators face maximum jail time of seven years, a fine up to RM10,000 (S$2,300) or both, said Shah Alam police chief Shafien Mamat in a statement. 

Speaking at the post-match conference, Indonesia's Spanish coach Luis Milla Aspas alleged one of his players was injured as a result of the "bomb".

"When Malaysia scored a goal, there was a bomb," he said. "At the time, three of our players were warming up behind the goal and unfortunately one of our players were hurt and I have the picture - they were bleeding.

"When my three players came out from the changing room (at the end of the match), they were protesting about the bomb."

Malaysian counterterrorism officials confirmed it was not a bomb, but firecrackers that were set off at the stadium.

Channel NewsAsia has seen a photo of the alleged injury and it appeared to be on the player's ankle, near his heel. The Indonesian team would not name the player.

Shafien, told Channel NewsAsia that so far, no police report has been lodged regarding injuries. 

However, an Indonesian supporter has lodged a report claiming he was assaulted by a group of Malaysian supporters at 3.45am that night.

“The 30-year-old victim sustained light injuries on his hand after being punched by the suspects," Shafien said in another statement, adding that the victim received outpatient treatment at the Shah Alam Hospital.

The police chief added: "He was part of a small group of supporters waiting for a bus to go home when a group of Malaysian supporters caused trouble and while he was trying to flee, he was assaulted by the Malaysian supporters.

“We are still tracking down the suspect. The case is being investigated under Section 147 of the Penal Code for rioting.”

The police have asked the public to contact them with more information and to not speculate about the case. 

Source: CNA/ad