On 9th April, Kuching FA announced they will be playing their fifth Liga M3 match at the Stadium Sarawak.
This is huge news as fans have been asking about the status and use of the biggest stadium in Sarawak for years.
The Stadium Sarawak was first used in 1997 for the Youth World Cup, but has since been unused for competitive football competitions despite the completion of its renovation works in 2017.
Constructed without tall fence barriers between the spectator seats and the playing field, Stadium Sarawak is perfect for football watching as fans get to watch the game without any objects blocking their view.
The use of the Stadium Sarawak brings three important things to footballs fans in Sarawak and here they are:
1) It shows Kuching is ambitious
While Sarawak FA’s ambition has dwindled yearly, Kuching’s desire to do well and to push for promotion has grown massively this season. Not only did Kuching sign some influential players, their move to the Stadium Sarawak shows they are confident the 40,000 seater stadium can be filled as they progress in their ambition.
2) It shows Sarawak FA is smaller than Kuching FA
Sarawak FA represents the state of Sarawak, while Kuching FA represents just a division in Sarawak. This puts Kuching technically smaller than Sarawak. However, the move by Kuching to the Stadium Sarawak in some ways undermines Sarawak. Stadium Sarawak is the biggest and most sophisticated stadium in Sarawak, and by right, it should be used by the bigger team, which is Sarawak. The case here now however is Kuching, a smaller team, is playing in the Stadium Sarawak and Sarawak is playing in the smaller Stadium Negeri.
3) It shows Stadium Sarawak is no more a ‘white elephant’
The Stadium Sarawak has established itself as a white elephant over the years. The nickname comes following its lack of use when it comes to professional football matches involving teams from Kuching. Fans have been critical over this matter and have voiced disappointment that Sarawak FA had choose to stay at Stadium Negeri on a yearly basis. That said, the move by Kuching FA to Stadium Sarawak finally makes this stadium useful and no more a white elephant.
This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Cyril Dason.