KUALA LUMPUR - Police fired 30 rounds of tear gas to disperse rioting fans and arrested 25 after a Malaysia FA Cup semi-final between Terengganu and Singapore's Lions XII, a senior security official said Monday.
Terengganu fans allegedly torched an ambulance and broke stadium doors after their team failed to reach the cup final, despite winning the semi-final second leg 3-2 at home in Kuala Terengganu.
The tie finished 4-4 on aggregate and Lions XII went through on away goals. The trouble began when a Terengganu goal was ruled out late in the match that would have taken them through to the final.
"The rioting was carried out be a small group of Terengganu fans who were not happy with the quality of the referee," local police chief Idris Abdul Rafar told AFP.
"We fired 30 rounds of tear gas because the protesters were stubborn and refused the disperse after the game.
"The rioting began towards the final minutes of the games after the fourth goal by Terengganu was disallowed," he said, adding that fans pelted the referee and police with water bottles and stones.
Hamidin Mohamad Amin, vice-president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) said that the violence woud be discussed at a meeting later on Monday. "Definitely we are upset," he told AFP.
Last December former FAM vice president Subahan Kamal said football hooliganism was becoming a worrying trend in the country after home fans attacked Vietnamese supporters during a Suzuki Cup semi-final.
The Asian Football Confederation fined the FAM $10,000 (RM34,000) in December for the behaviour of Malaysian fans during a friendly against the Philippines.
In September, a Malaysia Cup match between rivals Sarawak and Perak erupted into a riot when 2,000 Sarawak fans smashed cars and fought police after the game.