Written on 12th July 2010 @ 2237hrs

It’s over, and I’m starting to miss it. The celebrations. The cheer. The chats. Late nights. And disappointments too.

They asked why would a girl be interested in watching football, or “twenty-two men chasing after a ball”, followed by a cynical laugh.

You’d wonder why….

When what she remembers was the time when she was young, her uncles and aunts came to her house in Johor. Then her young uncles brought her younger brother to a football match between Johor and Kelantan in the stadium in Johor Bahru. He came back happy. He said that the policemen were careful to say that they shouldn’t get into the Kelantan fan’s side of the stadium if they don’t support Kelantan – bad things can happen. So they sat on the Johor side. She herself was excited to hear his stories.

Or when she went to all the Selangor matches, most of the time winning, following them to Malaysia Cup finals for three years in a row.

She would be excited for days and days before that. How fun it would be to go in a group to the stadium. With Wak Des, Kak Dida, Cik Mi, Cik Agus, her brothers Tau and Adam. To sit on the upper rows and scream and clap and jump for their beloved team. To wave their Selangor flag. And of course, wearing red and yellow.

Along the way to the stadium, there would be stalls and stalls of people selling Selangor merchandise – all red and yellow. Bright colours, they are. T-shirts, caps, flags, mufflers, banners. Some houses are even painted with red and yellow!

Buses and buses pass through the roads, all on their way to the stadium. Kapar, Meru, Batu Belah, Klang, Shah Alam….then the stadium. All honking to each other at the toll plaza, showing support and cheer. Flags hung outside the windows of the vehicles. It was such joyous occassion. Really.

One time mom actually made a huge 8×24 feet Selangor flag for us to take to the stadium. We hoped that ours was the biggest, but of course, there were bigger ones.

Selangor FC would sit on one side of the stadium. It’s so nice to see a sea of reds and yellows standing and cheering. They’d bring banners. They’d somehow get the permission to bring in kompang and rebana to add on the noise and joy.

And then the Mexican wave.

Always the amazing Mexican wave. The whole 80,000-people-filled stadium.

The Sultan of Selangor would come in his huge car. We’d all cheer again.

The suspense of attacks. And extra time. And penalties.

Then Selangor would win.

Screamed and cheered and jumped we did.

The fireworks after that.

At other times during the league we’d stay at home and watch. We cheered too. Until the arrival of (then) little Nadia, when we couldn’t really shout anymore. Heheh.

World Cup seasons.

1998 with the whole family. Mom and dad included. When Italy was fighting against France and none of us managed to stay up because of the extra long match.

2002 Japan/South Korea. Summer holidays. When Ireland qualified for World Cup but didn’t go through too many games. That was the time World Cup was shown on DAYtime, in the advent of huge screens in mamak stalls. I was in Suria KLCC during the Brazil vs England match that Friday afternoon. One of the teams scored a goal and the whole complex erupted!!! It was so lively. It is one moment that I will never forget. Brazil won that day.

2006. Final year. We were studying for our final exams. Watched the matches after study group. The only time I watch the matches with friends. We went for our exams, and we passed. We watched on the eve of graduation day. Another long game, I decided to get my beauty sleep.

And 2010. New life, new house, not-so-new friend. new TV, new astro. At times it’s me and Farah. At times it’s me and the Blackberry. And my family, all over – Selayang, Hartamas, Langkawi, Sg Petani, Bukit Kapar, Penang, Bristol, Shah Alam. We watched together, chatted with each other. Thanks to Blackberry technology. Most of us supported Germany. Somehow. We didn’t even decide that together.

It was sweet.

When Ozil passes to Mueller and it’s a goal.
When Klose gets the ball and it’s a goal.
When Neuer gets the ball and it’s NOT a goal.
When a dark-skinned man with long hair and a hair band wore the wrong jersey. Ooops, wait. It’s Khadeira. He DOES play for Germany. Hahaha.
And Tau loves to say “MeeerteSACKeeerrr!!” Funny!

It was a celebration of unity.
It was a celebration of joy.
When colour, religion and language do not matter.

It is obvious, isn’t it, why does football mean a lot to me?
Why do I get offended when one laughs and say “what do you see in those men, anyway?”

It’s not the 22 men chasing over one ball.

It’s about family.
Because football means family to me.
And nobody could take that away from me.

I love you. :’)
_________________________________________________________

Merah kuning lambang kejayaan
Selangor melambang kebanggaan
Gemuruh sorakan menggegarkan
Cabaran disambut dengan kesungguhan

Kecemerlangan
Kecemerlangan
Kecemerlangan jadi kenyataan

Merah kuning keberanian
Merempuh segala halangan
Sekali melangkah buktikan kemampuan

Merah kuning keberanian
Merempuh segala halangan
Sekali melangkah buktikan kemampuan
Selangor Darul Ehsan
Selangor Darul Ehsan……..

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