BANGKOK – This edition of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup is getting hostile.
After a commotion in the Malaysia-Vietnam semifinal pairing where Malaysian home fans turned violent following their national team’s 2-1 loss to Vietnam in the opener, the other Last Four matchup is also heating up.
Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami aired security concerns, saying some Azkals are receiving death threats on social media from Thai fans ahead of the second leg of their semifinal showdown on Wednesday at the Rajamangala Stadium.
“Normally we wouldn’t take it seriously, but with what has been happening in the past matches where some fans take it to another level, I think it’s better to be on the safe side than on the sorry side,” Palami said on Tuesday.
The Azkals boss declined which players have been getting the threats owing to security reasons, but assured they are safe after management has made communication with tournament organizers, the Philippine embassy, and security coordinators.
“We have managed to address these concerns…and I think everything is covered.”
Still, the Filipino booters are bracing for a hostile environment before an expected jampacked 80,000-seat venue.
“We just want to make sure the players are insulated from all these,” Palami added. “It’s our job from the management side to make sure all our players are protected.”