JAKARTA: The Jakarta Metropolitan Police is deploying a 10,000-strong police force to ensure security during second leg of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup final at the Bung Karno Stadium tonight.
They also gave an assurance that the personal safety of Malaysian footballers would be safeguarded.
“We will make sure the game will be played in peace. We ask our supporters to behave. No lasers or firecrackers will be allowed,” Indonesian Youth and Sports Minister Andi Mallarangeng told The Star in an interview.
Indonesian football supporters are said to be angry with Malaysian football fans who shone laser light beams on their football players’ faces to distract them during the first-leg on Sunday at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia beat Indonesia 3-0 in the game.
Jakarta Metropolitan police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said the safety of Malaysian players was guaranteed.
“We are making an all-out effort to ensure the match proceeds peacefully. We will confiscate any sharp weapons, laser or firecrackers found on fans. The most important thing is that the match will be played fairly,” he added in an interview.
The Bung Karno Stadium is a sprawling sports complex in the heart of Jakarta’s business and commercial district of Senayan. About 85,000 spectators are expected at the match.
Mallarangeng said the Indonesian team had been training hard since the defeat on Sunday.
“We accept the loss, that our opponents played better. We will try hard to repeat our earlier win. We know we have done it before,” he added. Indonesia had beaten Malaysia 5-1 in their group match earlier.
The stadium has a capacity of 100,000 seats but the authorities will not sell all the tickets.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian team has been accorded tight security here. An Indonesian officer was also assigned to be with the team at all times.
A source close to the All-Indonesia Football Federation said he was confident that the security measures were adequate.
The odds are against Indonesia to come back from a three-goal deficit and beat Malaysia for the Suzuki Cup, which neither team has won in the 14-year history of the championship.
Indonesian news portal Detik.com reported that a small convoy of Indonesian football fans carrying posters with the words “Lasers No! Anarchist Yes!” were circling the Bung Karno stadium where hundreds of fans were queuing up to redeem their coupon tickets. The coupons were sold earlier and were redeemable for tickets yesterday.
The fans cheered and clapped when they saw the posters, it reported.
According to a senior police personnel there were fears of problems if Malaysia won the match.
“It is very tense out there. We have information that the fans are sending out SMS to provoke tension during the final. It can be seen by their enthusiasm to come early and sleep near the stadium corridors to buy tickets.
“Yes, they are worked up because of the result of the first-leg in Bukit Jalil, which they claimed was won unfairly by Malaysia,” said the officer.