Standoff: Pahang players prevented from leaving the Larkin StadiumPAHANG players described the incident of being trapped inside Larkin Stadium for two hours after the 1-1 draw with Darul Ta’zim on Monday as a frightening experience.
Unruly Darul Ta’zim fans had gathered outside the stadium, blocking all exits, preventing Pahang players from leaving.
Despite being advised to disperse by the police, the fans were initially reluctant to follow orders.
They were unhappy with some of the referee’s decisions and they also wanted Pahang fans to apologise over an incident, where they were attacked during a Super League match between both teams in Kuantan in February.
However, both parties managed to settle the issue, and the visiting team were allowed to leave the stadium at 1am.
Pahang’s Nigerian striker Dickson Nwakaeme said this was the first time in 10 years he experienced such a frightening incident.
“We can’t go home after the match. Luckily, the match ended in a draw. If we had won, maybe we would be trapped here for a week without food,” Dickson told Astro Arena.
“It was very bad. Everyone felt like they were hostages. It was like we had been kidnapped. We needed food and also wanted to recover for the next month.”
Pahang’s Jamaican centre-back Damion Stewart said the incident in Johor Baru is not good for football in Malaysia.
“Why were we waiting inside the stadium? We are employees of Pahang and only want to play football. I was so tired and wanted to go home for some rest. This is really bad for the game.”
Pahang winger Azamuddin Akil said: “I am upset as my teammates and our fans were only able to leave at 1am. I hope such incidents will never happen again.”
The game was also marred by several incidents with Darul Ta’zim coach Bojan Hodak showing his displeasure at several decisions by referee Zohri Tajudin.
Hodak was unhappy with the match officials but did not want to make negative remarks.
“I cannot give you any statement about the game because if I talk about it, I must also talk about the referee. But if I talk about referee, I would be punished, so there is nothing else to talk. I can cut the video of the match and send it to the FA of Malaysia for review,” said Hodak.
Pahang coach Zainal Abdin Hassan said: “A draw is a good result but the tie isn’t over. However, we will have a one goal advantage for the return leg on May 30 and this will ease some pressure.”
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