Indonesians accuse Malaysia

Furious Indonesians have flooded Twitter with accusations that Malaysia unfairly won a key regional football match after fans targeted players with laser beams.

At least four of the top 10 words and phrases most popularly used on the social network site were linked to tirades against Malaysia soon after the home team beat Indonesia 3-0 on Sunday night in the first leg of the ASEAN Football Federation Cup final.

For nearly an hour, "malaysiacheatlaser" ranked No.1 on Twitter's global "Trending Topics" chart.

Other phrases used were "Use Laser", "Curang", which is Indonesian for "cheat", and "Support Garuda", a reference to the Indonesian squad.

The match was halted for five minutes shortly after halftime when Indonesia's goalkeeper and another player complained that bright green lights were directed at them from laser pens used by an unidentified few among the 85,000-strong crowd at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Malaysia's largest city.

Officials then warned fans to stop using laser pointers. All of Malaysia's goals came later between the 61st and 73rd minutes.

Many Malaysians were quick to defend their team, saying there were no beams shone on the field during those 12 minutes of goal scoring.

"NONE of the 3 goals had anything to do with (cheating). It had to do with a weak Indonesian defence," Khairy Jamaluddin, a prominent Malaysian government politician and former deputy president of Malaysia's football association, wrote on Twitter.

But Malaysians were no match for the Indonesians online.

Indonesia, which has a population of nearly 240 million people compared to Malaysia's 28 million, boasts Asia's largest numbers of Twitter users by country.

Responding to the laser controversy, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono told the official Antara news agency he hoped Indonesian fans attending the match would support fair play and "not be like Malaysia."

The second leg of the final will be played Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) in Jakarta.

Source AP