Malaysian football team withdraw from match after acid attack and assaults on players

Malaysia international Faisal Halim was the victim of an acid attack  (AFP via Getty Images)
Malaysia international Faisal Halim was the victim of an acid attack (AFP via Getty Images)

Selangor FC have withdrawn from their season-opening Charity Shield match against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) due to safety concerns following a series of attacks on players in Malaysia over the last week.

Selangor’s Faisal Halim was left in critical condition after being splashed with acid, JDT’s Safiq Rahim had his car windscreen smashed by unknown assailants, while national team player Akhyar Rashid was injured in a robbery outside his home.

Selangor called for Friday’s match to be postponed but the Malaysian Football League said the game would go ahead after receiving a security guarantee from police.

In a statement posted on Twitter/X on Wednesday, the club said it had decided to not participate in the match.

“Given the uncertainties surrounding the club at present, Selangor FC would like to emphasise that the safety of the team is of utmost importance and we take all forms of violence and threats seriously,” the club added.

Malaysia Super League champions JDT said they were disappointed by Selangor’s decision.

“We vehemently condemn the incident involving Faisal Halim and the alleged threats received by some members at Selangor FC,” JDT CEO Alistair Edwards said in a statement.

“But we hope Selangor FC can reconsider their decision to withdraw from the match as this could set a precedent of teams pulling out because they feel unsafe, and that too despite assurances from the Royal Malaysian Police.”

Reuters has contacted the Football Association of Malaysia and Malaysian Football League for comment.