Malaysian football fans in uproar over reduced AFF Cup match audience capacity due to Jay Chou concert stage

The stage production for Chou’s concert has reportedly reduced Bukit Jalil National Stadium’s seating capacity for an upcoming AFF Cup match between Malaysia and Thailand, leaving football fans up in arms and flooding the comments of Chou’s Instagram posts

Fans of Malaysian football are in an uproar over Jay Chou‘s upcoming concert at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, which has reduced audience capacity for an AFF Cup match.

The Vibes reported that Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary-general Noor Azman Rahman announced yesterday (January 4) that only 59,000 tickets will be made available for the AFF Cup first leg semi-finals match between Malaysia and Thailand this Saturday, January 7, despite the stadium’s capacity of 87,411.

Rahman explained that the ticket shortage was due to the stage structure for Chou’s January 15 concert, which is currently being installed, blocking approximately 21,000 seats in stadium. “The situation is inevitable,” Rahman reportedly said. “FAM and the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (PSM) have tried their best to find solutions to ensure the Harimau Malaya squad’s action throughout the AFF Cup, instead of it being held at other smaller capacity stadiums.”

The news has been met with complaints from fans of Malaysian football, who have taken to the comments section of Chou’s most recent Instagram posts to air their dissatisfaction. One user wrote, “Postponing the concert or not isn’t the issue. What were the people setting up the stage so early thinking. We’re not asking for a cancellation, we just want the stage to be dismantled temporarily, and let football fans enjoy the match.”

Another lamented, “Fuck you concert [sic]. This is a football stadium, not a concert stadium. Stadium Shah Alam is empty, why not hold events there? No one would complain if it was held there.”

Chou’s fans have leapt in to defend the artist and the concert, explaining that it was long delayed as it was first announced in 2019. One fan explained: “To our beloved football fans, this concert has been delayed for three years due to COVID, and the current date for the concert was announced a year ago. Fans from Malaysia and outside have been waiting for years for this concert. The problem of 21,000 vacant seats isn’t Jay Chou’s fault, but the management of the stadium in charge of events. Please stop the hate comments towards this legendary singer/musician.”

The two posts with affected comment sections – one a repost of a dance video and the other a New Year’s Day post featuring a clip of Chou at the piano – have each racked up over 2,000 comments. They have yet to have their comments disabled.

Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Ministry is looking into complaints over the reduced capacity, with Minister Hannah Yeoh saying it is aiming to resolve the issue before the match this weekend. “I have been briefed on this matter and have also talked about this with the Malaysia Stadium Corporation and we are still in the midst of discussions,” she said at a press conference today, per the New Straits Times.

Jay Chou’s concert in Singapore last month was also the subject of controversy. Many fans criticised the National Stadium show for a number of reasons, from Chou’s own performance to faulty lightsticks, prompting an apologetic statement from the promoter.

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