Jul 01 2011

Kuala Lumpur welcomes football’s Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal

Published by at 1:24 am under Events

Without wishing to offend anyone, Malaysia really sucks at sport. Apart from the odd medal in badminton, this nation of more than 27 million people rarely gets anywhere near the winners’ podium. This is particularly embarrassing with football, where enthusiasm for the game is hardly ever matched by success on the pitch. The Malaysian national team is ranked 143rd in the world, below such titans of the game as Cape Verde (79th; population 500,000) and St Kitts and Nevis (119th; population 51,300).

In light of all this, local lovers of the beautiful game have taken the pragmatic step of supporting teams which are actually good at playing football. For the most part this means following teams in the English Premiership. Several EPL games are televised live every week during the season, guaranteeing good business for any bar or pub that  shows them on a big screen. This avid fan base has not escaped the notice of the clubs, many of whom have taken to visiting Malaysia as part of pre-season Asian tours.

This year, three of the biggest and most successful clubs in England — Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea — will be playing in Kuala Lumpur over the space of just nine days. Their opponents on each occasion will be the Malaysia XI, a team made up of players from the Malaysian Super League. As the Malaysia XI have never won a game, anyone expecting a David versus Goliath moment will probably be disappointed.

Gunning for some pre-season success.

Their first match will be against Arsenal, at 20:45 on July 13. For many years, Manchester United’s main rivals for the Premiership crown, the Gunners have endured a disappointing few seasons. Of the three teams, they have the smallest local fan base, which means those people coming along to support Malaysia XI will not feel quite so outnumbered.

Seeing Reds in Malaysia for the first time.

The same could not be said of the second team on the triple bill, Liverpool, who are making their debut appearance in Malaysia, on July 16, at 17:45. The Reds have a massive local fan base, second only to United’s. Despite a disappointing sixth place finish last season, Liverpool fans are optimistic about the future. Installing Kenny Dalglish, one of the team’s greatest former players, as manager for the second time has been a popular move to say the least.

Playing the Blues in Kuala Lumpur.

Last up is Chelsea, at 20:45 on July 21, who despite finishing second behind United last season, sacked their manager soon after. Once the richest club in England, thanks to billionaire owner Roman Abramovich, they can no longer afford to outspend their leading rivals. Chelsea fans will be keen see how the Blues shape up under new manager Andre Villas-Boas.

All three matches will be played at the 87,000-seater National Stadium in Bukit Jalil. The best way to reach the ground is to take the Sri Petaling branch of the Ampang LRT line to Bukit Jalil station. Tickets, which range from 58 to 388 ringgit, are available from Ticketpro to all the games, although the Liverpool game is selling fast.

Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Jalan Barat, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur

T: (03) 7880 7999


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12 Responses to “Kuala Lumpur welcomes football’s Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal” ...

  1. Andy Bradyon 01 Jul 2011 at 7:22 am

    Sounds great. I hope they all lose to the Malaysian Super League. Won’t be long before the real giants like Stoke City and Leeds United are being invited…

  2. etuanloson 04 Jul 2011 at 4:15 am

    Malaysia XI never won a game? it best that you do a bit of research before writing. they won the AFF cup in December 2010. They are now in d 2nd round of Asia group qualifiers. Apart fr badminton, Malaysia also have world champions in cycling, bowling, squash. Hockey team is among top 15 in the world. I’m sure I can name more but driving n typing on a phone limit my research

  3. Paton 04 Jul 2011 at 7:07 am

    No, Malaysia XI have never won a game. They are a selection team who play exhibition matches, all eight of which they have lost so far. The Malaysian national team have indeed won a few games, against world football powers like Laos, but despite this, still lie 143rd in the FIFA world rankings. This is not surprising, as Malaysia has yet to qualify once for the World Cup. As for other sports, Malaysians have won a total of four Olympic medals, two bronze and two silver, all in badminton. Malaysia has won just one bronze in the World Swimming Championships, and no medals at all in the World Athletics Championships. Which part of that isn’t sucking at sport?

  4. Paton 15 Jul 2011 at 1:34 am

    Arsenal beat Malaysia XI 4-0. One thrashing down, two to go.

  5. Paton 17 Jul 2011 at 11:10 am

    Liverpool put six goals past Malaysia – but local boys get on the score sheet three times, so no disgrace there.

  6. Bergon 18 Jul 2011 at 6:14 am

    I’m sure you are not a Malaysian, otherwise you would’ve realised that the so-named Malaysia XI is actually the national team. Don’t know why organizers choose to use that particular name. Being the national team, they have won quite a lot of matches and are the reigning ASEAN champions both in the full side and the U23 (SEA Games).

    Why the reference to Olympics? You must be aware that not all sports are in the Olympics. Nicol David is the world champion in women squash for a good 2-3 years now. She is Malaysian. Is that call sucking at sports? Or you don’t consider squash as a sport?

    Seriously, better research would have made your article better. Lack of it, and it just shows that sometimes people can spout nonsense without supporting facts.

  7. Paton 18 Jul 2011 at 7:18 am

    OK, for the last time, Malaysia XI is not the national team, not officially anyway. It is a team drawn from the Malaysian Super League which plays exhibition matches. Malaysia XI has played 10 games, and lost all 10. The national team has indeed won the occasional game, but is still ranked 143rd in the world.
    As for sucking at sport, then clearly we have a different definition. Having one world champion in a minority sport, is that really the best you can do to prove Malaysia’s sporting prowess?
    Where it counts, at the three leading sporting events in the world (the Olympics – four medals, none of them gold; the Athletics World Championships – no medals; and the FIFA World Cup – never even qualified) – Malaysia has been conspicuously unsuccessful.
    Is that enough research for you, or are you going to tell me that Malaysia is a world power at tiddliwinks?

  8. etuanloson 18 Jul 2011 at 7:49 am

    Not sure where you get these wrong facts from, Malaysia XI that played Arsenal & Liverpool are the National team. The team that won the AFF Suzuki Cup in 2010 and SEA Games prior to that. Malaysia football qualified twice to the Olympics.

    Badminton, no intro needed. Squash, Nicol has been and is still the world No 1. In diving, Malaysia has Lee Mun Yee & Pandalela Rinong who won silver medal in Summer Youth Olympics 2010. She also won gold medal at Delhi Commonwealth Games.

    Malaysia has been world no.1 in sepak takraw until recently when the Thais took over.

    In track cycling, Azizulhasni, was the winner of gold medals in the keirin and 200m sprint events at the Asian Track Championships in April 2008. In 2009, Azizul became the overall winner of the Keirin event in the 2008–2009 World Cup after obtaining two gold medals.

    In bowling, men’s team is the Asian champs..

    Just to name a few…i can go on with the achievements but well, your post is deluded much.

  9. Paton 18 Jul 2011 at 8:12 am

    I have obviously touched a raw nerve here. But frankly, saying “black is white” repeatedly, does not make it so. By any objective criteria, for a nation of its size, Malaysia sucks at sport. But if you choose to believe Malaysia is a nation of sporting heroes, then so be it.

  10. Linaon 18 Jul 2011 at 8:23 am

    Even Cambodia beat Malaysia last month.

  11. Paton 18 Jul 2011 at 8:29 am

    Thank you Lina. I was beginning to think i was living in an alternative universe.

  12. Paton 23 Jul 2011 at 10:06 am

    And so it ends, with a whimper rather than a bang – Chelsea struggle to a one-nil win over Malaysia XI – and that only thanks to an own goal.

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