On September 5, Malaysia’s national football team, Harimau Malaya, defeated its Indonesian counterpart, Tim Garuda, with a score of 3 – 2. The match is a part of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Unfortunately, it was a chaotic scene after the match at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium. Flying objects such as smoke grenades and bottles were thrown towards the Malaysian fans’ seating area.
It was also reported that the Malaysian football team was escorted out from the stadium using armoured vehicles.
The incident swiftly became a hot issue on Twitter. The network of the football match can be divided into three main clusters – cyan, orange and purple.
The biggest cluster is the orange group which took up 57.98% of the network. The influencers in the group were @TeamMsia, @FAM_Malaysia, @501Awani and @@padangbolasepak. These influencers gave live updates on the football match through their tweets.
Apart from that, the influencers also updated Twitter users on the safety of Harimau Malaya and its supporters amidst the fiasco.
Meanwhile, the cyan cluster consists of @DanielNazreen as influencer. He shared a footage showing the scenario in the stadium sourced from Instagram.
He sarcastically labelled the hardcore fans of Tim Garuda as zombies. His tweet received over 2.5k retweets and 1.8k likes. The tweet received only about 60 comments, but the majority of them project negative sentiments toward football hooliganism.
On the other hand, the purple cluster were more explicit in their hatred towards the behaviour of the Indonesian national football team supporters. Twitter users in the group used the hashtag, #indonesiavsmalaysia, with some going to the extent of using #banindonesia.
Nevertheless, this incident was not the first of its kind. During the semi-final of 2018 AFF Under-19 Cup, Malaysia’s football team was attacked by stones and bottles by the hardcore Indonesian supporters.
Regardless, there will be a second World Cup qualifying match between Malaysia and Indonesia on November 19. This time Malaysia will be hosting the game at Bukit Jalil Stadium. Hopefully, Malaysian supporters will not retaliate, but instead treat their Indonesian counterparts with kindness.