Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Singapore Players Join Criticism Of Stadium's Pitch

SINGAPORE — Former Lions captain Baihakki Khaizan and current national team player Khairul Amri have criticised the management of the National Stadium.
In a strongly-worded post on his Instagram account on Sunday (Oct 12), Baihakki said that the new National Stadium, which opened in June, “look(s) prettier now”, but has “sold out”, hashtagging “#stadiumforconcerts”.
“You’re (the National Stadium) all fancy these days, with all the bells and whistles, but I remember the plain you, and they are wonderful memories,” he wrote. “We won championships on the platform you provided, I became a Lion on your lawn.
“Hey, you made many legendary Lions who inspired the young me, and roused the nation. And not just Lions, C Kunalan, James Wong, Glory Barnabas, all names that shine form our sporting past shone on your lap. Let’s not forget all the National Days we celebrated on your hallowed ground – a sacred battlefield for everyone that wore our flag.”
But, “you’re different now,” Baihakki said. “And I’m not convinced by how you’re behaving now. You don’t seem to know your priorities anymore, and I don’t see how new stars will be born in you again. You’ve sold out, haven’t you? You’re more about money, moving in a direction I don’t understand.”
Khairul on Twitter yesterday also posted an image of the stadium with the caption: “Impressed by what you can do.But, hate the one (that) manages you.”
Both Baihakki and Khairul were in Hong Kong last Friday (Oct 10) representing Singapore in a friendly game.
Yesterday, it was reported that a concert by Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou at the National Stadium on Nov 8 would go ahead, despite concerns from the Asean Football Federation (AFF) that the stadium’s pitch would not be in proper shape for the start of the AFF Suzuki Cup on Nov 22. An exhibition rugby match between the Maori All Blacks and Asia Pacific Dragons on Nov 15 has also added to concerns.
Brazil’s coach Dunga yesterday criticised the state of the pitch ahead of a friendly game against Japan on Oct 14.
“The field... raises the possibility of having injured players because there is a lot of sand and I hope the sand doesn’t create holes in the pitch during the match but it’s a risk we are going to have to take,” he said.
On Sunday, AFF Secretary-general Azzuddin Ahmad told TODAY: “The state of the National Stadium pitch is our main concern right now. We understand that the pitch is not in perfect condition.
“We will be meeting officials from the FA of Singapore on Oct 14 and a final decision will be made on whether the Suzuki Cup will proceed at the National Stadium.”
COMMENT - I can imagine the seething going on now in some quarters in Singapore. Players aren't encouraged to have opinions! Respect to Baihakki and Khairul...

Watch that ball, Baikhaki!
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