Malaysia cash for tip-offs to curb football violence

Malaysian football authorities will offer 1,000 ringgit ($320) to fans who provide police with tip-offs about troublemakers to prevent disruption in a key upcoming match, an official said on Saturday.

Hamidin Mohamad Amin, vice president of the Football Association of Malaysia said the money will be given to spectators who spot individuals throwing firecrackers or other projectiles.

"All that they need to do is alert the nearest policemen if they see anyone attempting to disrupt the match," he told AFP.

The Football Association of Malaysia decided to take the approach after fans stormed a stadium hosting a Malaysian football championship semi-final and forced the game to be called off amid chaotic scenes last month.

Fans threw water bottles and stones and stormed the pitch in the eastern state of Pahang during the Malaysian Football Association Cup's second-leg semi-final between Pahang and Johor Darul Takzim forcing the game to be abandoned.

The new measure to offer cash will be for the finals between Kelantan and Johor Darul Takzim on June 29 and some 80,000 fans are expected to throng the Bukit Jalil stadium.

"We want football to be played in a peaceful environment. Fans and supporters come to watch the game to have fun. We don't want to see fights on the pitch," Hamidin said.

Malaysians are football-mad but their patience has been repeatedly tested by problems besetting the sport, particularly allegations of match-fixing.

In one of the most recent cases, football authorities had promised to investigate claims of match-rigging during a second-tier Malaysian Premier League match and urged police to protect players amid reports of death threats by bookies.