Football: Malaysia Protests Thai Training Ground
Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia’s football association said Wednesday it had protested after Thailand provided a run-down training pitch for their Suzuki Cup clash that the team’s manager dismissed as a “paddy field.”
Football Association of Malaysia general secretary Azzuddin Ahmad said the association verbally protested at a meeting this morning with Thai FA officials and plans to file a written complaint to the Thai body and Asean Football Federation (AFF).
Malaysia’s New Straits Times newspaper reported that the country’s squad arrived at the Jaran Buraparat ground in Bangkok on Tuesday to find the pitch uneven and filled with puddles of water.
Team manager Subahan Kamal was quoted angrily criticizing the pitch as a “paddy field.”
The report said one official found a broken bottle on the field and that the grounds lacked a changing room, toilets or other basic amenities.
Azzuddin declined comment to AFP on the pitch conditions, but said “you can see it from the news reports.”
“We are writing to them officially. But what is in the letter is our business,” he said.
The two sides will meet Thursday in Thailand for the second leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final after drawing 1-1 on Sunday.
Subahan was quoted by the New Straits Times saying Malaysians could have been injured by the pitch conditions.
“I think we have better conditioned fields in villages in Malaysia,” he was quoted saying.
“We deserve better treatment. Why did they give us a public field?”
Azzuddin said Malaysia would use the National Stadium in Bangkok for its official practice on Wednesday, as is the norm on the eve of competitive games.
Thailand are favorites to qualify for the final after winning all their group games, and now with the advantage of an away goal to take into Thursday’s return fixture.