Soccer-Malaysian footballer Faisal calls for justice after acid attack

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A Malaysian footballer who was critically injured after being splashed with acid last month said on he hopes his assailants can be brought to justice swiftly.

In his first public appearance since the May 5 attack, a visibly scarred and emotional Faisal Halim told a press conference that he would focus on his recovery before attempting a return to soccer.

“I don’t know if I can return to football or not, I just hope people can pray for my return to the soccer arena,” he said. “I want to continue living my life normally like other people, like other players.”

“I hope the perpetrators can be caught as soon as possible and charged in court,” he added.

Faisal, a winger on Malaysia’s national team and state club Selangor FC, was attacked at a shopping mall, leaving him with fourth-degree burns on his face, arms, and torso, and affecting his speech and movement.

The incident was among a series of attacks on Malaysian footballers that month, though police have denied that the cases were related.

Faisal, who goes by the nickname Mickey, declined to speculate on the reasons behind the attack, but acknowledged it had left him and his family traumatised.

“I would rather lose thousands of dollars and stop playing football if I can be safe, if my family can be safe… but the support and prayers from the public have given me the strength to continue,” he said.

The attacks on Faisal and other footballers prompted some clubs to beef up security.

(Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; editing by Miral Fahmy)

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