Young Pioneer Tours

Whats it like watching football in Malaysia?

OK, so Malaysia might not be a traditional YPT locale, but when the chance for watching football in Malaysia arose we simply had to take it.

And that is because as well as taking you to places your mother would rather you stayed away from, we also kinda like watching football in these places and more.

Why watch football in Malaysia?

Being fairly involved in football my answer to this would be a resounding “why not”? What led me to this specie match though was my past life as a club owner and sports journalist within Cambodia.

This led me to meet Conor Nestor and Irish coach who previously managed PKR Svay Rieng within the Kingdom of Cambodia. He has since moved to India and now Malaysia where he is coaching top club Selangor FC. I had a layover in KL and the offer of VIP tickets and a shirt were too much to turn down.

Football in Malaysia – The stadium

The game which saw Selangor take on Perak was to be held at the MBPJ stadium that was built in 1996 and holds around 25,000 spectators. This was a little bit far outside from the city centre and the street food, but was well worth the journey.

The ground is well set up, has a number of different seating, standing and payment options and is clean and safe. The half time hot dogs were not all that great, but hey can anything beat a hot pie on a rainy night in Gillingham? Of course not.

How is the football in Malaysia?

So how is the actual football in Malaysia? Overall I would have to say that the standard in the Malaysian Super League actually quite surprised me in its quality. Although when you factor in that I like watching football in Cambodia then you can surmise that I am fairly easily pleased.

To be fair though it I snot just me who thinks this with the Malaysian League being the 12th best ranked within Asia, just above Jordan and just below Australia, while being chased by Vietnam. Cambodia for context is 30th below even North Korea.

Overall I would say it is of a similar standard to the top echelons of League One football in the English pyramid.

What is the atmosphere like in Malaysian Football?

This was perhaps the part that I Mose enjoyed with the ultras from both teams bellowing out songs throughout the match and no matter what the score.

It was though not just the ultras that sang, with every corner of the ground joining in at times. This even included us with the friends and family in the VIP section. Alas we were not VVIP’s so did nougat to sample prawn sandwiches and champagne.

We did though score some shirts, as well as a chat with Coach Nestor at the end.

YPT and football

While YPT are most known for taking you to countries your mother would rather you stayed away from, we also like to watch football matches in these places and beyond.

Our first foray into this watching North Korea at the 2010 World Cup in North Korea. This then expanded to us offering tours that watched domestic matches within the country, as well as allowing us to play against the North Koreans. There is one famous pictures of me taking out an Under 15’s national player…

After this we have offered trips to see AFC Cup matches, North Korea playing away from home, as well as some more recent slightly weirder forays, such as watching FC Sheriff take on Real Madrid.

Most recently though and perhaps our craziest plan yet has seen us involved in creating the first ever national team in Nauru. And do not worry not only will the shirts be out soon, but inevitably there will be a tour linked to their first match!

You can check out our international tours here, which hopefully will include a few football matches in 2025.

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