MALAYSIA — Once again, despite having recently been fined RM120,000 (approximately 25,728 USD) by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for lighting flares during three Malaysian League (Liga-M) matches at a stadium, certain supporters of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) club repeated their actions after the team achieved another victory against Negeri Sembilan last Saturday (8th July).
Certain local football fans on social media are now calling on the FAM and the Malaysian Football League (MFL) to impose stricter penalties on the JDT club in response to the recurring issue of flares being lit in the stadium.
These demands for fines, point deductions, and even matches played without spectators have arisen from the actions of a few Southern Tigers supporters who lit flares inside the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor during a Super League match against Negeri Sembilan.
A local sports news site, Flash Sukan, shared a 26-second clip capturing the sight of flares being lit in the seating area of the Southern Tigers supporters.
The clip depicts the significant smoke generated and fans waving their club’s flag while singing songs to celebrate yet another victory for the Southern Tigers.
JDT club fined over 25,700 USD last Thursday for their supporters lighting flares during the matches
The act of lighting flares occurred just two days after FAM imposed a fine of RM120,000 on JDT last Thursday (6 July) for their supporters lighting flares during three Malaysian League (Liga-M) matches at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium this season.
The act of lighting flares violates the obligation of organizing matches and goes against Article 70.1 of the FAM Code of Conduct, which prohibits supporters from bringing prohibited items into the stadium.
Numerous netizens actively commented on Sinar Harian’s Facebook post, urging the FAM and event organizers to take strong action against the JDT club.
Netizens suggesting stern action against the JDT club
This included imposing heavier fines, point deductions, and even considering matches played without spectators in the future.
One netizen commented, “I am a strong supporter of JDT, even though I am from Kedah and live in Kedah. I believe that JDT supporters should not light flares for the sake of safety.”
“What’s the difficulty? Just impose another fine.”
“It would be better to raise the fine when incidents like this occur. It should be multiplied by 10.”
Meanwhile, other netizens made remarks mocking the fact that the owner of the JDT club is wealthy and should have no issue in paying the fine. Some even suggested that it could serve as an additional source of income for FAM to settle its own debts.
One netizen sarcastically wrote, “It’s okay, the owner is rich.”
“Income for FAM”
“What’s there to be surprised about? Even if the fine is in billions, TMJ (referring to the Crown Prince of Johor) can easily pay it with a snap of his fingers…”
Another comment playfully stated, “An easy way to help FAM generate some money. Be grateful,” with others responding, “An easy way to settle debts.”
In fact, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) club is owned by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor. The club is funded by sponsors, Tunku Ismail himself, and the Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.
JDT currently comfortably leads the Super League standings with an impressive record of 16 consecutive victories, accumulating 48 points, leaving their closest rival Selangor FC in second place with a 14-point difference. JDT has also qualified for the FA Cup final this season.
Previously, JDT supporters lit flares after matches in two Super League encounters, one against Sabah FC in March and another against Kedah Darul Aman FC in April, as well as during an FA Cup match against PDRM FC in April.
Noor Azman Hj Rahman, secretary General of FAM clarified on Thursday that actions and penalties have been taken by FAM against JDT’s previous offences for burning and lighting flares, which are still enforced under the FAM Code of Conduct.
For the 2023 Super League match between JDT and Sabah FC on March 31, 2023, JDT was fined RM30,000 for their supporters’ act of lighting flares, estimated to be around 10 units, and fined RM10,000 for JDT’s failure to comply with the obligations of event organization, which allowed the entry and lighting of flares by supporters.
Furthermore, for the 2023 Super League match between JDT and Kedah Darul Aman FC on April 9, 2023, JDT was fined RM30,000 for their supporters’ simultaneous act of burning flares, estimated to be around 30 units, and fined RM10,000 for failure to comply with the obligations of event organization.
As for the 2023 FA Cup match between JDT and PDRM FC on April 14, 2023, JDT was fined RM30,000 for their supporters’ simultaneous act of lighting 29 flares and fined RM10,000 for failure to comply with the obligations of event organization.