November 3, 2013. The date ranked of primary importance to any Pahang football
fan. This evening was to witness the final match between Pahang and Kelantan -
the culmination of the Malaysia Cup
Competition. It was to decide which team was supreme in football in Malaysia.
The match was to kick off at 7.30 p.m. Over 80,000 observers could view gay
decorations of flags, banners bearing the names, bright colors and logos of the
contesting teams decorating the Shah Alam Stadium. An air of anticipated
excitement hung over the place. In fact, busloads of
fervent supporters had been arriving at the stadium grounds
throughout the early afternoon and before the kickoff.
At 7.25 p.m., the scene outside the stadium was a hive of activity and a mix
of sounds and colours. The reverberating sounds of kompangs (Malay drums) could
be heard as fans tried to boost the morale of the players and crowds.
Long queues of impatient fans were waiting in line to be allowed into the
stadium or to buy last minute tickets. Ticket touts moved around them quietly,
offering tickets on the black market at marked up prices. A few fans, impatient
at the long queues, were waiting to part with their money for the coveted
tickets. Moreover, it had been a long, tiring wait in the hot weather outside
and these were tickets for the covered stands. There might be a monsoon coming
along as drops of rain had started to patter on the pavements outside the
Hawkers outside the stadium were doing a roaring trade. Brightly colored
pinkish drinks clashed with the sound of sizzling Ramly hamburgers which were
sold from pushcarts. There were even vendors selling brightly-colored balloons
for the children. A stall somewhere proclaimed branded football jerseys at a
discount but on closer inspection, would reveal them as fakes. Business was
brisk as a 30,000 - crowd filled the stadium.
Meanwhile, as the time approached 7.30 p.m., those outside who had not gained
entrance to the stadium began to resign themselves to watching the game outside.
The generous authorities had kindly provided a giant television screen outside.
The crowd jostled patiently and good-naturedly for the best vantage points to
view the match outside.
Groups of boys were moving around, bearing rattan baskets containing pies and
drinks and shouting out a continual refrain of "Drinks, curry puffs, 50 cents, 1
An observer would, if he had looked up, seen a giant helium balloon bobbing
in the air outside the stadium. It bore the words of its sponsor, `Jusco
The crowd itself was a motley group of
people. There was a sprinkling of Chinese and Indian fans amid the mostly Malay
fans. They were mostly youths, with some middle-aged men. Children and women
comprised the least. One could spy some families having a picnic on the grounds
outside. Most people were dressed casually, but others were decked in
There was suddenly a silence. The minister had just finished his speech. Then
there was a tremendous roar inside the stadium. The match had begun ! The people
outside the stadium joined in the welcome shouts as the long awaited finals
started to unfold.