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ISKANDAR PUTERI, April 2 -- After almost a year of not being able to watch their favourites teams in action live at the stadiums, 2,000 fans can thank their lucky stars for being the first ones to be given the green light as they flocked the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium here to watch defending Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) welcome Melaka United in a Malaysia League (M-League) match tonight.
The JDT-Melaka United match is being used as a trial to allow the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS) to determine whether fans will be permitted into stadiums this season.
About 100 security personnel from the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), JDT football club marshals and sport bubble volunteers from the KBS were also on duty to observe the compliance of the standard operating procedure (SOP) by the spectators.
In addition, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Nerican, several officers from the Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order department and the National Security Council (MKN) were also at the stadium.
Meanwhile, checks by Bernama revealed that spectators were required to wear face masks, use sanitisers and adopt physical distancing before being allowed into the stadium.
Upon arrival at the stadium, they had to scan the QR codes for the MySejahtera application and their entry pass to enter the sitting area.
A fan, Daing Pelawa Abdul Majid, 34, who arrived as early as 6 pm, hoped that the match would run smoothly with everyone complying with the SOP.
“We know everyone’s excited because tonight is the first time we can watch the match live but let’s not forget the SOP. This is important to ensure that the following matches can be watched by even more fans,” he said.
For Boys Of Straits cheer team coordinator Nor Shazrin Nor Samsudin, all of the 700 cheer members wore face shields and were physically distanced for the match.
“We hope that with our presence, JDT will be at their best,” he said.
Besides this match, the game between Kuala Lumpur City FC and Sabah FC at Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras tomorrow will also serve as a trial run.