Malaysia's sports minister takes swipe at FAM, organiser over Malaysia-Barcelona match

PETALING JAYA - Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has taken a swipe at the organisers of the Malaysia-Barcelona friendly and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for the last minute switch of venues for the game.

In a succession of tweets from his account @khairykj, Khairy claimed that the organiser wanted to maximise ticket sales at the expense of pitch conditions while FAM and Barcelona should have been more hands-on in field inspection.

Yesterday's friendly game was moved from the Bukit Jalil National Stadium to the Shah Alam Stadium at the last moment, allegedly due to poor pitch conditions.

Barcelona had trained on the pitch on Friday.

Khairy went on to say that FAM should have known the condition of the Bukit Jalil pitch and his plans to refurbish it in October.

He also said the event organiser messed up the ground operations, while the Barcelona team treated the local media and fans "like pariahs".

He said that FAM should have a standard operating procedure for event organisers bringing in top teams so that Malaysians get maximum value from such tours.

"Otherwise these clubs come, take the payment (paid partly by local Msian companies & fans buying tickets), behave like brats and ciao," he tweeted.

"Don't get me wrong. Clubs can still come. Malaysians should be able to enjoy. But don't take us for a ride la with bad organisation and attitude," he said in an another tweet.

Barcelona won the game 3-1 with goals from Cesc Fabregas, Neymar and Gerard Pique. Amri Yahyah scored Malaysia's solitary goal.