GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Penang state government has rewarded footballer Faiz Subri with RM10,000 (S$3,365) after footage of his sensational free kick went viral around the world.
The 29-year-old Penang player became an overnight global sensation after he scored the goal. Taking a free kick against Pahang, Faiz's strike from about 25m out swerved and dipped into the right corner of the net in a Malaysian Super League match at the City Stadium. Penang won the match 4-1.
Some have said that the goal is already a potential winner of the Fifa Puskas Award 2016, given to the best goal scored during the year.
"The reward is for bringing worldwide recognition and glory to Penang and Malaysia.
"This is the first time a Malaysian footballer has received global fame for the right reasons," said Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng during a ceremony at his office in Komtar.
The funds for Faiz's reward come from the Penang Water Supply Corporation.
The striker said that the wonder goal was "no fluke", adding that it was normal for him to take shots from dead ball situations.
"It is not a fluke... I practise taking shots from free kicks. I am stunned by all the attention after scoring this goal. If I have a chance to take another free kick, I'll try to repeat it," he said. "I only came to know of all this attention after my phone kept ringing non-stop this morning."