PETALING JAYA, May 24 — It’s not uncommon to hear of local fans making ‘pilgrimages’ to catch their favourite football teams live in action.
While some may scoff and turn their noses at Malaysian clubs despite their love for the beautiful game, one Japanese couple has grabbed the attention of football fans down south for their love for Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) football club.
A JDT fan took to Twitter to share the story of Yasu and his wife Maki from Osaka, who are hardcore members of the ‘Ancient Squad’, supporters of Division 4 football team, Nara club.
“They watched their first game involving Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) two years ago for the AFC Champions League (ACL) play-off between Gamba Osaka and JDT in early 2017,” shared a Twitter user by the handle @juanbudiman.
CERITA DARI OSAKA KE LARKIN— Juan Bapakaw (@juanbudiman) May 23, 2019
Yasu & isteri beliau Maki berasal dari Osaka, Jepun. Di sana, mereka menyokong kelab di Division 4 Nara Club. Ultras disana digelar Ancient Squad & Yasu adalah salah seorang komrad yg aktif. pic.twitter.com/SYdfmcMnmX
He said, despite the Southern Tigers going down by three goals, the couple developed a love, not just for the team but also the JDT ‘ultras’ fans in the Boys of Straits.
“Later that year, both Yasu and Maki flew down again to watch JDT in the final of the Malaysia Super League, and watched as the team lifted the trophy.”
According to Juan, the couple have devoted time and money to travel some 5,000km to once again watch JDT take on the ACL this year.
“Football culture has its own appeal, and Yasu and Maki are proof of that.
“If foreigners can devote their fandom to a club, not from their place of birth, why can’t we support our local clubs. What are we waiting for?” he tweeted.