Malaysian football: Mysterious attack on players clouds start of season

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Faisal Halim in intensive care after acid attack

Malaysia’s football season begins amid serious concerns for players’ safety following a series of attacks.

Three members of the national team were assaulted this month, leading to the cancellation of Friday’s season-opening charity match.

One of the victims, winger Faisal Halim, was left in a critical condition after being attacked with acid at a shopping mall last weekend.

Police have yet to reveal a motive or whether the incidents are related.

The Malaysian Football Federation has urged high-profile players to take precautions, such as hiring bodyguards.

Faisal Halim was thrown acid on May 5 while shopping near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, leaving him with severe burns.

The 25-year-old star winger has since undergone skin graft surgery and the Football Association says he is recovering but remains in intensive care.

Local media reports said police were analysing fingerprints from the suspect who was arrested at the shopping mall.

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption, Akiyar Rashid was the target of a robbery near his home.

In a separate incident, midfielder Safik Halim, 36, was unharmed after men with hammers smashed the windscreen of his car.

A third player, Akiyar Rashid, 26, was attacked by robbers outside his home.

The season-opening Charity Shield match was called off on Friday after Faisal’s club, Selangor FC, withdrew.

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