Premier League side UiTM FC are flying high. Having not been given much hope by observers and fans alike at the start of the season, they have instead defied expectations to occupy the fifth place in the standings currently, separated by just four points from the promotion zone. On top of this, they also recently qualified for the Malaysia Cup for the first time in their history.
Despite all their recent success, in their round 12 league match at home against PDRM on Friday, a crowd of only 252 turned up for the match. The reason for the small turnout was rather peculiar.
UiTM FC are a university side, representing the public tertiary institution MARA University of Technology (UiTM) in Shah Alam, Selangor, who play at the UiTM Stadium located inside the university compound. Due to this, they are supported mainly by students of the institution, as opposed to by residents of the city.
But after their 1-1 league draw against PKNP FC on April 25, a result which clinched them the fifth spot and a place in the Malaysia Cup, the mid-semester break began, and the normally bustling university was almost deserted as the undergraduates, the team’s usual supporters, returned to their hometowns.
With almost all of the students and supporters at home, UiTM FC faced off against PDRM on Friday at an almost empty ground.