i don’t fancy football. i don’t watch the games. i don’t know the teams. i don’t know the players. except of course david beckham. everyone knows david beckham. hihi. but the story goes that i am currently living in dubai so if i get the chance to get closer to anything that is remotely MALAYSIAN, i’m game. pun intended.
..and that is how i ended up watching a LIVE football match between Malaysia and Iraq on 1st feb, at an actual field in an actual stadium in Ajman (another state in the UAE), from start to finish, for the first time ever.
and to sum it up – the TEN things i love about watching a football match, strictly from my point of view.
the whole family came in yellow malaya tigers jersey woohoo! (credit to bro wak kohl for this picture taken from his fb – thanks so much, this was our only complete family picture!)
1 – WEARING MATCHING JERSEY OF YOUR FAVORITE TEAM
there’s something wonderful, united and glorifying about wearing the same thing with other supporters. the sense of belonging is even more so especially when you’re living overseas. this once-a-while get-together really strengthens the bond between fellow countrymen as we cheer and support our malaysian footballers.
in this case wearing the bright yellow jersey with black stripes which echoes the nick name of our malaysian football team – the malayan tigers. rawr!
2 – RAISING JALUR GEMILANG, MALAYSIAN FLAG PROUDLY
knowing that we’ll be watching the malaysia-iraq friendly football match, i quickly korek-korek everywhere looking for the malaysian flag. it’s not often we get to parade and show-off our flag while cheering and shouting in public. yah, try doing that in dubai mall? haha.
khaleef held the big flag all through the game. he even ran across the front of the seating holding the flag on his shoulders while the other malaysian pakciks cheered on. khaleef felt the pride and joy despite spending half of his life in dubai now.
our flag is so beautiful, and a single piece of cloth can mean so much to us as malaysians once you see the red-white stripes with the star and crescent moon on the dark blue background.
kibarkan jalur gemilang!
mak & the kay boys. thanks so much aida for this lovely picture! suka sangat!
3 – SITTING IN A FOOTBALL STADIUM WATCHING FOOTBALL
the malaysian-iraq friendly football match was held at ajman football club or ajman stadium. ajman is one of the emirates in UAE (united arab emirates), about half an hour away from dubai.
this was the first time i watched a football match at a stadium, and it was pretty exciting simply because you’re watching it in real time, LIVE. right there and then. you don’t hear hasbullah awang saying “canteeeekkkk” or “owh, sayang! gol terlepas” or whatever. however, you do hear unofficial sports commentators left and right – “woi referee bodoh!” or “dah depan mata pun tak bole gol ke!” and “tendang bola pun lembik!” haha.
the view was great if you don’t know the players and they’re just little blue-white-red dots running around chasing a ball. because you totally can’t see the faces, and i am positively sure that watching football matches on tv in HD is so much better. boleh nampak muka, ape!
4 – INSPIRING YOUNG FOOTBALLER
khaleef loves football ever since he started running and able to kick stuff. he was barely 2 years old and already running, kicking a big beach ball we bought for him. so he was the most excited to watch this football match.
throughout the game, kahfi would be the most restless – kept asking when are we going home, keep asking for food (i brought snacks and biscuits, phew!) while kazim kept walking up and down the aisle and everywhere.
khaleef concentrated on the game, he kept on cheering whenever the ball is nearing the goal post and he occasionally kept the malaysian flag up in the air. when the game ended with iraq 3 – malaysia 0, khaleef actually tried hard to hold back the tears. he was so disappointed.
he’s fine by the way, and was really inspired to become a footballer one day. position? goalkeeper!
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my mr khairul in the middle with fellow malaysians in dubai. from left : bro affandy, abg fudzail, mr khairul, bro mat nor & bro wak kohl
5 – YOU WANNA GO WHERE EVERYBODY KNOWS YOUR NAME
watching football matches in the stadium, you’re usually faced with huge crowds, possibly rowdy and slightly dangerous with strangers left and right, but when you’re watching a football match overseas with malaysians you always see everytime there’s a malaysian get-together, you really feel at home in the stadium.
i particularly enjoy watching this football match in dubai because you pretty much know most of the people in the stadium (the area where malaysian supporters are sitting) so i really didn’t mind kazim walking up and down the aisle exploring the place.
of course, things are always fun with friends. enjoying a concert, hanging out at the coffee shop, watching a football match – you need someone to cheer your favorite team and shout insults to the other haha.
6 – RAIN!
it rained during the second half of the match. sigh. patutnya budak-budak malaysia ni lagi terer la main dalam hujan since we’re so used to the rain in our country but too bad, still can’t win over the tall, dark, handsome pak arabs from iraq! hihi
7 – MEET AND GREET
the game ended with disappointment on our side since we lost 3-0 to iraq, but the malaysians were still looking forward to meet the malaysian football stars.
they took the time to stand by the barricade to shake hands with fans and take some photos. they were all smiles in spite of the tiredness, and the loss to iraq. i applaud their spirit and consideration to spend some time with the fans.
two other players who left the field during the game looked at the malaysian supportersm raised their arms and waved heroically, and the crowd cheered loudly in approval. however, one player seemed to be looking grumpy, mind elsewhere, and hardly smiling. when he left the field, he did not even glance up at the malaysian supporters. sombong lah pengantin baru tu! hihi.
the only player i know is the infamous khairul fahmi che mat (from the controversy surrounding the breaking-off of his engagement, to his link with gorgeous girls, and finally to his beautiful wedding) and too bad he was the one not fan-friendly. tsk tsk.
thinking of his new bride, i’m sure…
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8 – NEW-FOUND FRIENDS
knowing most of the malaysians there, but there’s always room for more new friends! always so fun to know that someone recognizes me on the streets after reading my blog haha. aliyah and i ‘met’ through our blogs, and this was the first time we met face to face! comel je orangnye. take care of the baby-in-tummy and have a safe delivery back in malaysia ok!
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9 – MY MAK LOVES FOOTBALL
football reminds me of my late mak. because no other person that i know loves football as much as she did. even my husband does not like football that way! suka main football manager kat xbox ngan ipad je hihi.
the only time i watch a football match was with my late mak who was a HUGE fan of football. she knew the players, she had a favorite team, and she also had a dream team where she compiled the best of the best players that she liked into one team.
she even had a poster of roberto baggio at the back of the kitchen door. cool huh?
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10 – MY POINT OF VIEW
i still don’t like football.
but i totally enjoyed watching a game that puts malaysian against another country, and this game has brought together malaysians in UAE in support of our football team. we wear t-shirts with the word ‘malaysian’ on it and malaysian flag too, we brought out our malaysian flag, we sang our national anthem ‘negaraku’ loud and proud – we were being malaysians!
living in dubai for almost 5 years now, anything that reminds me of malaysia is a plus and i definitely want to be part of it.
also, khairul fahmi che mat is much shorter than i expected.
ok, i’m done.