Sunday, July 26, 2009


Singapore's whiney sporting culture?

I’m convinced that if ever the Olympic Games added whinging as a sport Singapore could give the original whingers Australia a run for their money.

The Sleague is one of the top leagues in Asia without a doubt, next weekend sees Tampines Rovers take on Singapore Armed Forces in a classic first v second match that would have fans salivating in their coffee shops…if it was Liverpool v Manchester United.

But it’s not. It’s only between two Singapore sides and we will be lucky if the crowd tops 3,000. And I have read and heard on many occasion that 5 Singapore Dollars is too expensive to watch a game of football. That people paid 10 dollars to watch Sheikh Haikul parade his skills against Fandi Ahmad being conveniently overlooked. Because they’re ‘famous’.

Football fans ambitions will have been whetted a few days earlier when Liverpool came to town.

It’s been a good few years since any English clubs had passed through the Lion City and fans had looked on jealously while Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok had cashed in on EPL mania. Singapore was like the spotty guy with glasses on the edge of the dance floor. Everyone knew here was there but did their best to avoid him.

But finally Liverpool were to arrive for a pre season friendly. Note the word friendly. Rafael Benitez is still looking at his squad and its fitness. He wants to use the games both in Singapore and Thailand to develop team spirit, try new ideas and give everyone a run out in difficult conditions.

Tell it to the locals. They are now feeling cheated because they won’t get a chance to see Steven Gerrard up close and personal. Despite the fact that he had featured prominently in the pre match build up.

They’ve been here before and recently. New A League club North Queensland Fury breezed into town with their new striker Robbie Fowler, another Liverpool legend. He was injured and he didn’t play. Cue more whines.

Once upon a time football was a team game but not it seems anymore. Football, at least in Singapore, is about individual players who have become greater than the club they represent.

Then we had a recent friendly against Vietnam played at Juring east Stadium. The ground was filled as were the letter boxes of the local papers. Too many people, writers opined, nowhere to sit, not comfortable.

Brought up on a wall to wall diet of English Premier League football perhaps Singaporeans expectations are too high. Why should they get a chance to meet the players when most fans back in England will never see a footballer in normal clothes?

Or maybe we should be positive. Maybe we should see the comments not as negativity but as feedback from a few disgruntled customers looking for more bang for their buck? After all, most of the fans at the National Stadium this afternoon will be happy enough just to see real Liverpool players wearing real Liverpool shirts in Singapore.

Hi Antony,

A bit scathing but 100% true I must say.

Singapore sure is a hotbed of whiners but of course there are other demographic group as well.

For the Liverpool game, I always felt it was a circus act... a sort of like when Cirque de Soliel or Disney on Ice hit town.
You paid a grand price to get yourself entertained except as of the others, no one care if one of the star performer is not coming, perhaps that's why people felt robbed
Then again in Singapore they believe they have the rights to be bestowed and pampered with everything served on the platter.

I just hope average football fans who did not gave a hoot about the National team can see what they are made of, though it was not the best platform to analyze
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?