Of Malaysians and EPL Football

The beauty about the English Premier League (EPL) is that, besides being the most popular and most-watched soccer football league in the world, it brings Malaysians of all ages, race and religion together like no other.

The EPL has such a huge impact on the Malaysian general public; so huge that every organization I know wants to be associated with it. From alcohol brands to the major Telco brands to automotive brands, everyone wants to jump into the EPL bandwagon with the hopes that, with their attachment to the EPL, the Malaysian populace would choose theirs over the competitors.

As I was saying, nothing brings Malaysians together like the EPL. Take for example what just happened to me just now. I am not the most sociable person in the world; I do know used to know how to have fun but it is always with the same people around me. I am not one who makes new friends easily and to be perfectly honest, I don't really take the effort to do so either.

Anyways, my Man United was going to play Aston Villa in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and I didn't want to watch it alone at home. The best alternative was to go down to the Chinese mamak shop (I know this is weird)near my place where I knew there would others like me who also did not want to watch the match alone.

When I got there, the place was already full and I had no choice but to share a table with some of the guys who were already there. On any normal circumstances, I would have either wait until a table is free or I just drag my ass somewhere else but not this time. I asked if I could join in and of course they wouldn't say no.

As the game progressed, we started having small conversations and talked about our respective favorite teams. There were 4 of us sharing the table and I was the only Red Devils supporter; 2 of them were Arsenal supporters and the other one supports Liverpool. More importantly, we are all of different races – 1 Chinese, 1 Indian (Arsenal), 1 Malay (Liverpool) and me.

In the course of the game, some 2 hours, we just chatted about anything and everything and if someone were to just walk by, he/she would probably think that the four of us have been friends for ages. That’s the kind of impact the EPL has on Malaysians. Even if we did not make appointments to see each other again, the fact remained that we were as close as anyone could be in that 2 hours.

As for the game, it was really a great one; of course, United controlled the game but waited until the extra time to go through the next round. I am not going to bother with the details of the game but you can read them here and here.

Overall, it was a great night for me. Not only did I have temporary friends to teman me watch the game, my team also won, thanks to goals from new boy Henrik Larsson and true-blue Red Devil Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

I think I should start going out more often and start making more temporary friends. You never know, they may just become my real friends in the near future…

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