The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) might have given the green light for the match between LionsXII and Johor Darul Takzim to go ahead, but local authorities are ready to go against regulations given the haze situation.
In a surprise decision on Friday afternoon the FAM announced their decision to not postpone the much-anticipated Malaysian Super League title-decider. But on Friday evening Football Association of Singapore (FAS) issued a statement of their own on the matter and have taken the situation into their own hands.
"The Football Association of Singapore respects the rules and regulations of the Malaysian Super League, and we would like to proceed with the match between the LionsXll and Johor Darul Takzim at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 22 June 2013, as far as possible," read the statement.
"However, we would like to reiterate that the health and well-being of our fans and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
"Like the arrangements we have in the S.League we will proceed with the game, if the [API] reading is at or below 150."
The haze hit another new record, the third in three days, as the API Level crossed the 400 mark on Friday, far beyond the hazardous levels. National Environment Agency (NEA) has warned that the conditions are likely to persist for at least a few more weeks.
The StarHub League Cup semi-finals and finals were postponed due to the haze and will now be played in September. While it looked like the LionsXII fixture might meet the same fate, FAM's sudden decision has placed local football authorities in a tight spot of having to abide by league regulations and cater to the safety of participants of the match.
"We strongly encourage children, seniors and persons with medical conditions or respiratory ailments, including heart or lung diseases, to refrain from attending the match," continued the statement.
"The FAS would like to reassure our fans that we have in place additional measures, including additional medical resources to attend to players, officials and fans who experience breathing difficulties and any other health issues if the game proceeds.
"Fans who are unwell and are affected by the haze are advised to stay home and fans are advised ; to hold on to their full and unused tickets for their refund. In view of the present situation, we are working closely with our ticketing agents who normally adopt a no-refund policy, to reimburse eligible fans. FAS will make the necessary announcement in due course."
Fans have been instructed to turn to FAS and LionsXII websites and Facebook pages for the latest updates on the status of the match.
Fans can also turn to Goal and our Facebook page for the latest news on the situation.
- Sports & Recreation
- Malaysian Super League
- Johor Darul Takzim