'This is a football stadium, not a concert stadium': Sports fans in Malaysia protest upcoming Jay Chou concert

'This is a football stadium, not a concert stadium': Sports fans in Malaysia protest upcoming Jay Chou concert
Both the Malaysia-Thailand football match on Jan 7 and Jay's Carnival World Tour concert on Jan 15 are set to take place at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
PHOTO: Instagram/Football Association of Malaysia, Instagram/Jay Chou

[UPDATE: 10.48PM]

Jay Chou has responded to the fracas over the usage of the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. 

He wrote in two Instagram Stories posted earlier this evening: "Malaysian football fans, I know how important football is to you. I can postpone my concert, it's not a problem. But the most important thing is, you should be asking the football association or the venue management whether they allow me to postpone the concert. I don't have a problem with it as long as I can sing to my fans.

"I hope everyone would be happy when they come to my concert."

Rivalry is expected between countries in football, but fans in Malaysia have come up against an unlikely adversity.

Before their ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup semi-final against Thailand tomorrow (Jan 7), it appears that they are battling the king of Mandopop, Jay Chou.

Both the football match and Jay's Carnival World Tour concert on Jan 15 are set to take place at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, which is the Malaysian national football team's home ground.

Though the stadium has a total capacity of 87,411, only 59,000 tickets will be sold for the match as the rest of the seats will be blocked by the stage setup for the Taiwanese pop icon's concert.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Noor Azman Rahman said in a statement: "The situation is inevitable. FAM and the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) have tried their best to find solutions to ensure the Harimau Malaya squad's action throughout the AFF Cup, instead of it being held at other smaller capacity stadiums."

It's safe to say that football fans are enraged by the reduced capacity. Some mobbed the comment section under Jay's recent Instagram posts.


One comment read: "F*** you, concert. This is a football stadium, not a concert stadium. Stadium Shah Alam is empty, why not hold events there? No one would complain if it was held there."

Another lamented: "Because of your concert, Bukit Jalil stadium is losing 21,000 fans this Saturday."

Some even left racist comments, with one reading: "It doesn't matter if he wants to come, only a few Chinese people like him anyway and what he says doesn't matter.

"If he comes, let us Malaysians go and mess up his stupid concert. Just hold it in China, setan (devil in Malay)."

Others came to the 43-year-old singer's defence, saying Jay was not to blame for the clashing of dates, suggesting people air their complaints to the PSM or concert organisers instead. Some were embarrassed by the hostility shown by Malaysian football fans, worried that it would portray their country in a negative light.

"If you want to bark like a dog, go to the organiser's page or the page that manages the stadium's rights," one comment read. "Don't embarrass Malaysia on the pages of foreigners who are innocent."

Malaysia's Minister of Youth and Sports Hannah Yeoh took to Twitter yesterday to answer fans' concerns.

She wrote that Jay Chou's team booked the stadium almost four years ago on March 19, 2019, while the Football Association of Malaysia only booked the stadium on Aug 18, 2022.

Jay's concert had to be rescheduled to 2023 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Addressing why Jay's team could not postpone their setup until after the match, Yeoh wrote: "The concert needs 14 days to set up the stage, with 500 [local] and 185 international crew members, 45 pieces of heavy machinery, 200 speakers and 800 lights. They have delayed [their plans] for 2.5 days because of AFF."

Malaysia isn't the only country to have their AFF Cup matches interrupted by Jay's concert. When Jay held his concert at the 55,000-seat National Stadium on Dec 17 and 18, Singapore had to host its group stage match against Myanmar the following Saturday in the 6,000-seat Jalan Besar Stadium instead.

ALSO READ: 'If your voice can't make it, don't even consider holding a concert': Jay Chou fans in Singapore lament poor vocals and sound quality


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