Penang chief coach Ashley Westwood and Football Association of Penang (FAP) president Zairil Khir Johari have reportedly received death threats as a result of the club’s disastrous start to this year’s Malaysian Super League.
Penang currently sit bottom of the MSL standings after losing all six of their opening games.
Zairil said he notified police of the death threats after receiving them on Facebook.
“Police reports have been made as there have been two death threats against me and also the coach,” he told a press conference.
“We will let the police do their work and investigate this. I strongly condemn this kind of action. They have gone too far,” he said.
Zairil said that while fans are fully entitled to voice discontent over Penang’s poor start to the season, they should not resort to threats and violence.
Fans of the club have held demonstrations demanding Zairil’s resignation, while accusing him of being unfit to helm the association.
They also demanded the sacking of Westwood, claiming that the coach’s relationship with the players has broken down.
Zairil suggested that the protests were aimed at him and not related to the team’s performance, as last year was equally as poor.
“The results are the same as last year but they were not as angry as they are this time. Suddenly when I’m there, everything is heightened 10 times and this leads me to question the motives behind this,” said Zairil, urging fans to get behind the the team instead of berating them.
Zairil took over as president in January following the departure of Nazir Ariff.