PETALING JAYA: The FA of Malaysia (FAM) have denied they are giving tickets for the AFF Cup final to their cronies, as claimed by angry fans.
FAM explained today that the 2,800 tickets (as stated in a viral Facebook posting), are for Vietnam supporters, and not for redistribution for profit.
FAM secretary general Stuart Ramalingam clarified that Nur Iman Dzakirah, who made the posting on her Facebook page, is the official for a group of Vietnam fans, and that the post has been misinterpreted.
“She (Nur Iman) has been given the task of collecting the tickets and handing them over to the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) to bring their supporters for the final at the Bukit Jalil Stadium,” said Stuart in a press conference to address the issue today.
“FAM and VFF have made a deal where FAM will allocate 3,000 tickets to be sold to Vietnam fans while VFF will reciprocate for the second leg at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi.
“So, there is actually no issue here, the posting was wrongly interpreted and it has affected FAM's image as well as the national team’s focus,” said Stuart.
NSTP Sport has reported that tickets for the first leg of the final was sold out within 30 minutes of the counters being opened at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Sunday. Many fans were left disappointed that they were unable to buy tickets despite some having waited overnight.
What further angered the frustrated fans were pictures and videos circulating on social media of batches of tickets being collected at Wisma FAM.
In addition to Iman's Facebook posting, Stuart also cleared the air regarding the video of a youth collecting almost 100 tickets from the FAM office on Instagram.
“In addition to ticket sales via the counters, we also allocated a certain number of tickets for individuals with VIP status. The boy (in video) is the son of one of those individuals who bought the tickets at FAM.
"With modern technology, almost everything is uploaded on social media and in the end, causes negative perceptions. I saw the boy's posting, he is not selling the tickets, he is just sharing his happiness in being able to get them."
The national squad aim to bag Malaysia's second AFF Cup title after winning it for the first time in 2010.