Malaysia footballer badly hurt in acid attack pledges to play again

A Malaysian international who was severely injured in an acid attack in May broke down in tears on Thursday and said he will be back playing football in “one to two months”.

Winger for Selangor FC Faisal Halim was attacked on May 5 at a shopping center outside of Kuala Lumpur, sustaining fourth-degree burns to his neck, shoulder, hands, and chest.

Nicknamed “Mickey,” the well-liked 26-year-old underwent numerous procedures and three weeks in the hospital to treat the burns on his skin.

Speaking to journalists for the first time since the ordeal, a tearful Faisal said: “My hope is to return to the pitch in the next one to two months, even though the doctor says it could take up to six months.”

He added: “I am willing to return to training when doctors give me the green light.”

Scars were visible on the left side of his head and face. He also appeared underweight and his physical movements seemed slower.

A dozen burly bodyguards wearing black escorted the player into the press conference.

Faisal did not explain why, but said that “right now I am kept in a secret hideout” with his family, expressing hope “I can soon be free and no need to hide”.

Two people were arrested after the attack but both were released without any charge. It is unclear what was behind the assault.

Of the four top-tier Malaysian football players who were the targets of a series of crimes in May, Faisal’s case was the most prominent and serious.

It is not thought that the incidences are related.

Faisal is a seasoned Malaysian international whose early-season equalizer against South Korea was chosen as the Asian Cup’s best goal.

“I miss football,” added Faisal.

Malaysia’s domestic football season was scheduled to begin on May 10 with a curtain-raiser between Faisal’s Selangor and Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

Selangor pulled out citing “a series of criminal incidents and recent threats”, but the league got under way the following day under heavy security.

This article has been posted by a News Hour Correspondent. For queries, please contact through [email protected]
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