Malaysia declared today a public holiday to celebrate its victory over Indonesia in the bitterly contested final of a regional soccer tournament that dominated Twitter for days with hate messages by fans from both sides.
Malaysia beat neighbor Indonesia 4-2 on aggregate in the two-match final to win the ASEAN Suzuki Cup — Southeast Asia’s premier tournament — for the first time on Wednesday.
Malaysia beat Indonesia in the first leg played on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur 3-0. It lost the second leg played in Jakarta on Wednesday 2-1, but won on aggregate.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced the holiday in a statement to the national news agency Bernama late on Wednesday, saying that the victory marked “the greatest night in Malaysian football.”
“Well done, Malaysian Tigers! You played well as a team and have made your country very proud. Congratulations!” he posted from his Twitter account.