The Pride Of Johor

Football fans Malaysia

The fans really completed our visit to Johor Bahru, capital of the state of Johor in the south of Malaysia. Johor Darul Ta’zim FC are current big-hitters and league-toppers, having won a fourth successive Malaysian Super League title in September.

On matchday, the North Stand of the Stadium Tan Sri Dato Hj Hassan is packed with fans young and old who know their songs, customs and traditions inside out. The choreographers and capos orchestrate the noise and keep drummers and fans aligned, but the seething mass of fanatics does the rest. It is musical, rhythmic, impressive and compulsive, the ever-increasing tempo of the drums and chants hooks you deep within. It isn’t just 90 minutes. They begin Continue reading

Where are all the Kuala Lumpur Fans?

Stadium Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday evening saw Kuala Lumpur FA beat Sabah 2-0 at the Stadium MPS to successfully tie off their campaign with promotion from the Malaysian Premier League, the second tier, to the Malaysian Super League, the top flight. Yes that is correct. KLFA, the one team of the Malaysian capital city, has been absent from the country’s top flight for 6 years. Being the only professional club within its administrative boundaries, the capital has had absolutely no representation in the highest level of domestic Continue reading

All Thaid Up | Thai Culture and Football

Khlong Toei man

If you read a blog like this one, you have probably been to Thailand. We like to think of ourselves as worldly, liberal and empirical and hope this reflects in our writing, and people into this sort of writing are usually travel enthusiasts to some degree. And travel enthusiasts all indulge themselves with Thailand at some point. It is a country of fun and beauty and more fun, and to western appetites, the Thai culture of convenience and consumption make it feel far more like home than its neighbours. Fast food, craft beer and trap music available in a stunner of a country. An obvious destination.

And if you read a blog like this one, maybe you also watched some Football there. And, stood there on the terrace with your fried chicken and Singha beer, it will have come to your attention Continue reading

Khlong Toei and Port FC

Klong Toei

Port FC’s 50th anniversary is something to celebrate in domestic Thai Football.

Thai businessmen frequently buy out and invest heavily in clubs with purchases often proceeding behaviour that would be most unwelcome in Europe; relocations, playing-colour-roulette and name changes. Why? A strong sense of classism, respect for seniority and a “Saving Face” culture characterise Thai society. Unlike Continue reading

Tribute to the Thai King

Ubon UMT shirt

This is the current kit of Ubon UMT United, the top team of Ubon Ratchathani in the Isan region of Eastern Thailand, currently playing in the Thai Premier League after achieving promotion last year. Note the solitary but thick black stripe on the left arm.

That is not just some cool asymmetrical design. That is a season-long tribute to the late King Abulyadej of Thailand.

Everywhere Continue reading

Casually Casual | Guangzhou Pt 2

Chinese football atmosphere

We left the first game in Guangzhou before the final whistle, missing the second goal. This is the price to pay for two games in one evening, I suppose. From the Tianhe Stadium, we dashed across town to get to the magnificent Yuexiu Mountain Stadium, home of Guangzhou R&F.

And what a stadium. Our ventures the day before had culminated in reaching the stadium whilst empty. Walking through the hilly Yuexiu park, this giant sky-blue Continue reading