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For footballers, life is at stake. Harsh attacks on representatives, one was doused with acid

Not even a shot without protection. Football players in Malaysia are afraid to go out on the street alone, because they face harsh physical attacks. During the week, three players were attacked, and one of the representatives is in a serious condition after being bitten by acid.

Malaysian international Faisal Halim was attacked and acid thrown at him

| Photo: Profimedia

There was consternation in Malaysia. In a country of 30 million people, aggression towards local athletes is escalating. There have been three in a single week violent incidents, in which footballers lost their lives. And in Malaysia, this is a completely exceptional phenomenon.

Former Malaysian national team captain Safiq Rahim was sitting in his car when two men on a motorcycle attacked him and smashed the glass with a hammer. His club Johor Darul Ta’zim, which is owned by the crown prince of the royal family, subsequently stepped up security for its team as it was the third attack on a footballer in a week.

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“I didn’t expect to be attacked next to the training center. We have to be vigilant,” said the experienced midfielder, who escaped unscathed.

However, Faisal Halim of FC Selangor was not so lucky, as he was doused with acid by an assailant in a shopping mall. The footballer is now in hospital in a serious condition, he had to undergo a skin transplant. Next Malaysian representative Akhyar Rashid was injured in a robbery outside his house.

Players should have personal protection

“These incidents have no place in football,” JDT chief executive Alistair Edwards said in a statement on the club’s Facebook page. He advised players to be careful about what they post on social media.

Above all, star players should have security. “While not all players have the funds to hire a bodyguard, it is a wise idea, especially for star players who may attract unwanted attention,” said Football Association of Malaysia president Hamidin Mohd Amin.

“These separate incidents have shocked the nation. The Football Association of Malaysia condemns any form of violence against players and hopes that these incidents will be thoroughly investigated by the authorities so that further action can be taken,” says the statement of the association.

At the same time, Malaysian footballers enjoy great popularity. They recognized it even in Jablonec nad Nisou. In the 2022/23 season, he spent the autumn in the North Bohemian club Dion Cools. At the time, he was the only Malaysian representative to play in a European competition. With the involvement of Cools, interest in Jablonec’s social networks skyrocketed. Just a post on Instagram announcing the transfer of the footballer collected almost forty thousand likes.

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