Malaysia switch semifinal venue from Bukit Jalil to Shah Alam Stadium
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have announced that Shah Alam Stadium will be the venue for Malaysia's AFF Suzuki Cup first leg semifinal against Vietnam this Sunday.
The game was initially scheduled for the National Stadium but after inspections by FAM officials over the weekend, the Bukit Jalil pitch was deemed unsuitable for international matches.
As reported by the New Straits Times, FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said: "The pitch condition at National Stadium is unsuitable to host the international match.
"The grass on some sections of the pitch has not fully matured. We do not want players complaining about the poor state of the pitch.
"We were happy with the pitch condition at the Shah Alam Stadium after inspection on Monday."
He added: "We have already informed the Asean Football Federation (AFF) about it.
"However, the National Stadium will still be considered if Malaysia reach the final."
With just a few days to go before Dollah Salleh's men step out at Shah Alam to take on Toshiya Miura's Vietnam, Hamidin is confident that ticket sales will be brisk. He's urged Malaysian fans to come out in full force and rally their team to a second ASEAN title.
"Tickets will be sold online through www.tickethotline.com.my starting today. Fans can also purchase them at the stadium (Gate A and C) on Friday. We will decide on Vietnam's allocation today." Hamidin said.
"I hope we will have a sell-out stadium on Sunday as we need the fans to support the national team."
Malaysia will go into the game without influential playmaker Amri Yahyah who is suspended after getting his second yellow card in their 3-1 victory over Singapore on Sunday. Indra Putra Mahayuddin is the most likely candidate to replace him.
As for Vietnam, Pham Thanh Luong and Le Cong Vinh will be the main cogs for Miura as he seeks to win his first ASEAN title and Vietnam's second after their success in 2008.
The other semifinal first leg between Philippines and Thailand will be played on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in downtown Manila.