Fury after M'sia stadium prioritizes Jay Chou's gig over football semis
PETALING JAYA – The organisers for Taiwanese singer Jay Chou’s upcoming concert in Malaysia had booked the Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Kuala Lumpur four years in advance, said Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh in a tweet on Thursday.
“The booking for the Jay Chou World Tour was made in March 2019, whereas the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) booked the stadium for AFF 2022 in August 2022,” she said.
The announcement came hours after angry Malaysian football fans attacked Chou, 43, on social media over seat shortages at the stadium.
Malaysia is set to play Thailand there on Saturday – in the first leg of the semi-final of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship 2022 – while Chou’s concert is on Jan 15.
FAM confirmed on Thursday that all 59,000 tickets were sold out and that no additional tickets – whether online or over the counter – would be made available. The stadium has a capacity of about 87,000.
It was reported that 21,000 seats had to be left vacant as they would be obstructed by Chou’s concert stage structure, which was in the process of being installed.
In her tweet, Ms Yeoh stressed that the concert organisers had already delayed the set-up by 2½ days to make room for the AFF Cup semi-final. “The organisers need 14 days to set up the stage. The set-up involves 500 crew members, 185 international crew members, 45 (pieces of) heavy machinery, 200 speakers and 800 lights,” she said.
The Mandopop star, who performed in Singapore on Dec 17 and 18, postponed his 2020 gig in Malaysia due to the pandemic.
The Straits Times reported in November that Chou’s concerts at the 55,000-seater National Stadium left little time for the Singapore Sports Hub to get the pitch ready in time for the AFF home group match between Singapore and Myanmar on Dec 24.
In the end, the game took place at the 6,000-seat Jalan Besar Stadium. Singapore also played Vietnam at the same venue six days later. -THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK