JAKARTA: Tensions remained high in the Indonesian capital as football fans awaited the much-anticipated Asean Federation Football (AFF) Suzuki Cup final second-leg match tonight.
Indonesian fans are upset with the Malaysians, alleging that laser light beams had been shone on the faces of the republic’s players to distract them in the first-leg match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday. Malaysia won that match 3-0.
The Jakarta Metropolitan Police are serious about keeping the peace and are deploying 10,000 policemen at the Bung Karno Stadium. Police have also banned sharp weapons and the use of lasers or firecrackers by spectators. Some 85,000 fans are expected at the match.
The training session for the Malaysian team – originally scheduled to be held at the stadium amid tight security – was moved to the hotel where they are staying, for safety reasons.
Even Malaysian journalists were advised not to wear the national colours for security reasons. Many turned up in red, pretending to be Indonesian newsmen.