KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 ― Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has warned Kedah Umno to stop “politicising” the upcoming Malaysia Cup final match between Kedah and Johor.
In a statement posted on the Johor FC Facebook page, Tunku Ismail accused Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah and the Youth, Sports and Culture state executive councillor Datuk Aminuddin Omar of causing tension among fans for their political gain.
On Wednesday, former Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir alleged that Kedah Umno purchased the match tickets in bulk to ensure that fans did not boo Ahmad Bashah tomorrow.
Tunku Ismail responded by requesting Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) to print an extra 1,000 tickets for genuine Kedah fans instead of Umno supporters to attend the match.
He also called Ahmad Bashah out for allowing his subordinates to meddle and create tension between the Johor and Kedah fans.
“Political agenda should not be mixed with politics. Kedah and Johor fans should not fight with one another. This is what the politicians want as this is the political party’s strategy used from before in order to divide and conquer.
“We have to be united to rid elements of politics in football,” he said.
The Johor crown prince also claimed that Aminuddin blackmailed FMLLP over the invitation of former Kedah captain Radhi Mat Din.
“Lately, FMLLP suggested to invite Radhi Mat Din, a football legend, and ex-skipper for Kedah who have previously won the Malaysia Cup to feature in the opening ceremony of the Malaysia Cup Finals this Saturday.
“Surprisingly, FMLLP was blackmailed by Kedah exco, Datuk Aminuddin stating that he will boycott the match should Radhi be invited on the basis that Radhi is a PAS Party member,” said
Tunku Ismail, adding that Radhi has every right to be there and that his political allegiance had nothing to do with the sport.
Tunku Ismail also accused Ahmad Bashah and Aminuddin of demanding that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) cover its own cost if it holds an exco meeting in Kedah.
“It is as if they’re are deliberately hindering FAM from going to Kedah and hindering me from meeting the Kedah supporters whom I have utmost respect for,” said the crown prince, voicing his suspicion.
“In the past, the FAM have been cordially and graciously received in states that have hosted exco meetings. Such states are Sabah and Terengganu.
“In both visits, all costs were covered by the hosts as we all believe that the cooperation the affiliates have with the FAM is for the betterment of football in this country,” he said.