Malaysia has lost to Bahrain in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers after a penalty converted by Bahrain substitute player Abdulla Yusuf Helal at the end of the second Group E match.
However, not all hope was lost as the national team can still live their Asian Cup dream if they beat Bangladesh in the last match at the National Stadium.
In response to the national team’s defeat, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu made a remark that suggests that loud cheers from the fans led to the national football team conceding a goal to Bahrain in the match.
Sorakan dan sokongan para penyokong sebagai pemain ke-12 amat penting dan amat dihargai. (Bila dah kena balon, saya pun pening). Cakap2 bola saya sebelum ini telah disalah erti. Ampun dan maaf atas kesilapan saya.— Faizal Azumu (@PejaOfPerak) June 13, 2022
Later, the minister acknowledge the importance of the fans supporting the national team and explained that his comment on the matter was “misunderstood” by netizens.
Speaking to Utusan, Ahmad Faizal said the loud cheers from more than 63,000 supporters inside the Bukit Jalil National Stadium had caused the national players to lose focus.
“As far as I remember, as soon as the first goal was scored there are some players besides the field getting ready to be brought on, including Guilherme De Paula, which caused the whole stadium to cheer.”
“At the time, the whole stadium cheered and right after that cheer, we conceded a goal.”
“So if you want to blame the defeat 100% on the players, I don’t think that it’s fair also. In fact, we as spectators too contributed to the player’s losing focus.”
“If I was on the field at that time when people suddenly shouted (cheered), my focus would have lost too,” he said.
Nonetheless, Faizal was defending the national goalkeeper and skipper Farizal Marlias who was blamed by fans for giving away a penalty in the late stage of the game.
Malaysia lost the game 1-2 to Bahrain despite taking a lead early in the second half.
However, fans slammed Faizal for giving comments on subjects that he is not knowledgeable about.
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