SINGAPORE: Insults were hurled, blows were traded and one man ended the day in a police car.
Last Friday’s first—leg of the Causeway Challenge at the Jalan Besar Stadium finished 2—2 but it was the pre—match fracas between Singapore and Malaysia fans that set the online community abuzz.
Ahead of Tuesday night’s second—leg at the Shah Alam Stadium, both sides have urged restraint.
"I’ve seen worse incidents when I played in Indonesia but, of course, I don’t want to see such things here," said Singapore captain Baihakki Khaizan.
"Fans have every right to support their team by singing or chanting, but as long as they don’t act as fire—starters, it should be fine."
Online videos of last Friday’s incident showed at least one Singapore fan shouting at Malaysian fans marching towards the stadium on Horne Road, which provoked the visitors into a violent reaction.
Akbar Hashim, a veteran tour operator of "Diehard Fans of Singapore" since the times of Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy, also joined Baihakki’s call for calm.
"Because of (last Friday’s) incident, there have already been some cancellations from people who are worried about their safety, but I will be travelling up with about 60 fans."
Despite fears from some, Malaysian fans tell TODAY that they are not plotting revenge.
"Things happened last Friday because fans were caught up in the tensions of match—day, and adrenaline was pumping. There was a person who was taunting, and some of us reacted to it," said Malaysian fan Freddie Fitri, who was in the Malaysian marching contingent.
"We’re not particularly upset, it’s just one of those things that happen — part of the colours of football, something you accept. We are definitely not planning to do anything to the Singapore fans who will come to watch the game." —