Malaysian footballer injured in acid attack

Malaysia football Faisal Halim

Malaysia’s forward #07 Faisal Halim celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2023 AFC Asian Cup Group E football match between South Korea and Malaysia at Al-Janoub Stadium in al-Wakrah, south of Doha, on January 25, 2024. (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP)

A Malaysian national footballer suffered second-degree burns after he was splashed with acid in an attack at a shopping mall over the weekend, a sports official has said.

National team player Faisal Halim was burned on the neck, shoulder, hands and chest during the attack Sunday in Petaling Jaya district outside the capital Kuala Lumpur, according to Najwan Halimi, a sports official in Selangor state.

Faisal, 26, is a winger at the Selangor Football Club.

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“I strongly condemn this violence and urge the police to bring the perpetrator to justice,” Najwan said in a statement late Sunday.

Selangor police chief Hussein Omar Khan was quoted by private television station Astro Awani as saying on Monday that a male suspect had been arrested, though he did not disclose a motive.

A photo that went viral online showed a visibly shocked Faisal in brown pants seated on a bench with burn marks on his body.

The attack came three days after another national player, Akhyar Rashid, was injured in a robbery outside his home in the eastern state of Terengganu.

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Akhyar, 25, was struck with an iron rod by two unidentified suspects and suffered injuries to his head and leg that required stitches, local media reported.

Local police chief Azli Noor said the suspects fled after taking Akhyar’s money.

Football Association of Malaysia president Hamidin Mohamad Amin said he was “upset and sad” over both attacks.

“The people of Malaysia pray that Akhyar and Faisal recover quickly and get back to action,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

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