Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon or Country

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Toon or Country

Article excerpt

This team of football-loving students has split loyalties as Newcastle kick off in the FA Premier League Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

The players, who are studying at Newcastle University, can't decide which team to support - Newcastle United or the Malaysian national side.

The students, who regularly play in five- and six-a-side inter-university matches, are such big fans of Bobby's boys that they have adopted the team's famous black and white kit as their own.

All grew up in Malaysia supporting their national team and they admit they haven't decided whether they would like Newcastle or Malaysia to win the tournament, which begins tomorrow.

Ahmad Aslam Kamarudin, a mechanical engineering student, said: "Most of us will still be in England for the tournament, so we'll be watching it on television.

"We'll be supporting both Newcastle and Malaysia in their first-round matches.

"But if Newcastle meet Malaysia in the next stage, we really won't know which team to cheer on.

"We will all be feeling divided loyalties as we watch the game."

Huzaimi Kassim, who is studying English language, added: "I've been crazy about football since I was young. I even used to have a book by Malcolm Macdonald, one of Newcastle United's best strikers ever, about how to shoot.

"One of the reasons I came to Newcastle was for the football. Personally I think the Premiership is bigger and better than Italian or Spanish football."

Amir Fazly Nazri, who is studying for an accounting and finance degree, believes Newcastle is a great place to be a student.

He said: "As well as having a top Premiership side, Newcastle is a really lively and friendly city where there's always lots going on."

The players are all members of the Malaysian Society at the university and have named their team the Newcastle University Malaysian Society FC. …

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