Desperate fans burn ticket booth at stadium
Reuters US Online Report Oddly Enough
Nov 21, 2011 10:24 EST
JAKARTA (Reuters) – Success-starved Indonesia soccer fans, desperate to watch the final of a regional tournament against rivals Malaysia, set a ticket booth on fire at the national stadium in Jakarta ahead of the game Monday.
Police doused the flames and fired warning shots in the air, scattering a crowd of thousands of supporters who were unable to get into the Bung Karno stadium, with a capacity of 88,000, after tickets quickly sold out.
Indonesia saw off Vietnam in their semi-final and are expecting home advantage to help them to victory in the final of the Southeast Asia Games, in a re-match of their ASEAN Cup final clash last December that Malaysia won.
In the first leg of that game in Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia players walked off the pitch and accused local fans of dazzling them with laser beams, returning to the field only to be thumped 3-0.
The two neighboring nations have a history of spats outside sport, from ownership of maritime territory to culinary heritage.
Despite being by far the biggest country in the area, Indonesia last won a regional soccer gold in 1991 and have never won the ASEAN Cup.
Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country with around 240 million people but has played only once at the World Cup, in 1938.
(Reporting by Neil Chatterjee; editing by Mark Meadows)
Source: Reuters US Online Report Oddly Enough