Malaysian football team opens new 40,000-seat stadium

Johor Darul Ta’zim, the reigning champion of football’s Malaysian Super League, has unveiled its new 40,000-seat stadium.

The venue has been named Sultan Ibrahim Stadium after Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, the current ruler of the state of Johor. Work on the RM200m (£36.5m/€43.6m/$47.2m) stadium began in January 2016.

The stadium has been designed to look like a banana leaf, while the pitch has been approved by FIFA, football’s global governing body.

Channel News Asia notes that the stadium has been fitted with a drainage system to prevent water logging and LED floodlights to enhance the fan experience. The stadium complex is also set to feature a training centre, shops and restaurants in the future.

The opening ceremony for the stadium included a 15-minute fireworks display and an illuminated recreation of the club’s mascot, the Malayan Tiger. Singer Leona Lewis also performed.

Johor Darul Ta’zim had played at the 30,000-seat Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium in Larkin since its inception in 2013. The new stadium is located in the Iskandar Puteri region of Johor.

Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who owns the club, said: “The past seven years have been amazing both on and off the pitch for JDT and the opening of this Sultan Ibrahim Stadium marks another feather in the cap for the Southern Tigers.

“As a club, JDT have come a long way since its inception in 2013. Today we have successfully overcome the norm in Malaysia football, strived to set new benchmarks that have inevitably raised standards and challenged boundaries on the international front.”

Image: Johor Darul Ta’zim