KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8 — Football fans from Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Terengganu FC have turned up in droves to flood the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, illuminating a sea of blue, black and white before the 2023 Malaysia Cup final kicks off tonight.

As of 6pm, weather at the stadium was cloudy but the atmosphere was no less exciting with various attractive activities to keep fans from both teams occupied before the big kick off.

Adding to the occasion was the Madani Government’s One Year Anniversary programmes which also lined up a lot of exciting events for all.

Police from the K9 unit patrol the stadium grounds. — Bernama pic
Police from the K9 unit patrol the stadium grounds. — Bernama pic

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A visit to the location by Bernama saw aspects of safety at the optimum level with the presence of police and enforcement officers taking care of traffic flow and human traffic in the vicinity, especially at the main entrance of the stadium.

Stalls selling all types of souvenirs, food and drinks lined up every possible path leading into the stadium and that added to the festivity for the Malaysia Cup final which features JDT and Terengganu FC for the first time in a cup final.

JDT fans were proudly parading their blue jerseys and mufflers while fans from Terengganu made their presence felt in black and white.

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The stadium gates were opened as early as 5pm although the match will only kick off at 9pm.

A diehard JDT fan waits outside the stadium before the gates open. — Bernama pic
A diehard JDT fan waits outside the stadium before the gates open. — Bernama pic

However, the concern of the fans was the condition of the pitch which has not lived up to expectations for the final.

A fan from JDT, Ahmad Sufian Idrus, 33, said the condition of the pitch would not help both teams to showcase their full capabilities and would certainly rob the intensity of the match.

“I was shocked to see pictures of the pitch in the stadium which went viral on social media. Though the condition of the pitch will hamper the quality of the action, it will not prevent JDT from performing well,” said the fan from Pontian when met by Bernama.

Terengganu FC fans at Bukit Jalil National Stadium, December 8, 2023. — Bernama pic
Terengganu FC fans at Bukit Jalil National Stadium, December 8, 2023. — Bernama pic

Meanwhile, Zikri Razak from Besut, Terengganu hoped the condition of the pitch would not be the same in future Malaysia Cup competitions.

“This should not have happened because it is the Malaysia Cup final and everybody including the stadium management are aware of the date,” said the private sector employee from Terengganu who is hoping for a 2-1 victory over JDT.

The final tonight is expected to draw 80,000 fans. — Bernama