BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Things have not quite gone Selangor's way this month.
Their Asia Challenge pre-season tournament on January 18 and 19, which also drew the participation of Southeast Asia's top clubs Persib, Ha Noi FC and True Bangkok United received a lukewarm reception by their own fans at the Shah Alam Stadium. Almost 14,000 turned up for the first day of the competition, but heavy rain saw them giving the second day a miss. The same rain also led to those who turned up getting rained on due to the leaky roof, and caused the pitch to turn muddy. The second day's match between Hanoi and Persib also had to be abandoned at halftime due to inclement weather, with the Indonesians announced as the match winner.
The week after the conclusion of the tournament, the Red Giants were criticised on social media for the condition of their homeground and its pitch, their fans questioning why the roof has not been repaired.
When met by Goal on Thursday, secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon admitted that the condition of the Selangor state government-owned and managed stadium is not something that is within the club's power.
Johan Kamal. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal
"The stadium is a tough matter... It's a big stadium that seats 80,000 and a lot of money is needed [to repair it]. Fixing the roof will cost RM12 or 13 million. And there's no guarantee that the repair will last long. The whole structure is fragile, the screws have come loose, and if we do renovate it, after two, three years, they will fly off again. It's just not worth the money.
"However, the pitch looked bad because four games were played on it over two [consecutive] days. Even the best pitch would suffer under these conditions. I used to play in Australia, if it rained like that the pitches there would get messed up too. This would not happen again this season because Selangor are the only team that will be playing home games there (Shah Alam)," explained the team official
When asked whether Selangor are planning to make another stadium in the state as their home ground, or even build a new home ground, as suggested by several of their own fans, Johan was coy:
"We'll see! There's a lot of work to be done!"
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A post shared by Goal Malaysia (@goal_malaysia) on Jan 30, 2020 at 6:13am PST