The heavy rain which happened an hour before the Malaysia Super League (MSL) Borneo Derby failed to dampen the spirited Sarawak fans when an estimated 10,000 Sarawak football fans came in red to the Sarawak State Stadium tonight to see, support and show unity behind the Sarawak football team as they team played neighbours Sabah.
Despite the drizzle during the game, fans gathered in the the masses at the nearby car park where the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) has set up two big screens showing live feed of the game happening inside.
Traffic jams were obvious as the kick off came close, with fans parking their vehicles at the road side up to Wisma Sumber Alam, some 1km away from the stadium.
Before the match, FAS President Datuk Sudarsono addressed the crowd as he thanked them for their passion and undivided support to the team. He also said that he hoped to see all the fans back in the stadium soon, where they can enjoy the game better.
His announcement was greeted with a massive cheer from the crowd.
Aside from the speech, Datuk Sudarsono was also given the collection money amounting to a few thousand which was collected by the Sarawak ultras to help FAS pay the fine imposed by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) on them.
The atmosphere outside the stadium was carnival like with many cheering their team as the game progressed.
Sarawak didn’t disappoint as Joel Epalle headed in the match winner in the 22nd minute of the game, hence giving Sarawak the boasting rights over Sabah.
At the end of the game, officials and players of the Sarawak footaball team came to their fans in the car park area to say thank you for their support, as social media users sarcastically left comments on the internet implying directly on how FAM’s ‘fan ban’ has not effected the morale of the supporters.
The Crocs still have to play another three home games with empty stands to fulfil the ‘fan ban’ FAM has imposed on the team.
Photos provided by www.twitter.com/cyrildason