Asian Football

Majulah Singapura, It’s Time To Support The Lions

I will have the fortune of watching my Singapore national team compete in a matter of hours or so. We take on Palestine who have a lot to play for given the grave situation in the nation. I am also thankful to watch the Lions feature twice more in the week to come. Three matches do not make up for the international football fixtures that we have been deprived of for the past year and a half (557 days).

 Besides denying the Lions a chance to play on the international level, the COVID-19 pandemic has also certainly disrupted our way of life. In the process, we have established a new normal. Wearing masks, practising safe distancing and (for some of us) swab tests have become ingrained in our daily lives.

I have always viewed football as an escape from life’s harsh realities, and right now, life is pretty harsh. Having the ability to support your national team helps ease things a bit.  

So, naturally, I’d think that fellow Singaporeans would want to get behind the national team during this period of uncertainty. After all, banding together for a common cause is what we need at this juncture.

However, I’ve been proven wrong by a small but still distinct number of Singaporeans.

Why The Negativity?

As usual, Singaporeans have criticised the Lions and while I welcome constructive feedback, most criticisms offer little to improve upon. I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions but there is a time and place to voice that out. That time is not now, especially since the players need the support.

Yes, we may have lost Safuwan Bahruddin, Ikhsan Fandi and Harris Harun (whom I hope is doing well given that he pulled out due to personal reasons). However, does that mean all hope is lost?

Is there any point in looking at the number of reasons why Palestine might defeat the Singapore national team?

Why ridicule the Football Association of Singapore [FAS] for uploading the club profile pictures of players instead of the national team ones? Have we become so petty? People need to realise two things. Firstly, the government put up heightened COVID-19 measures, and an official photo-taking session may not have been possible. Secondly, there may not have been enough time for a session. As such, It would have been highly impractical and quite honestly irresponsible (given the rising number of cases at the time) for the FAS to hold a photo-taking session.

This brings up a pertinent issue and one that has been bugging me for a long time. The problem with Singapore football doesn’t solely lie with the players, fans, management or the FAS. It is a multi-faceted issue. To tackle it, we need all our stakeholders to do their part simultaneously.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I do not believe that we should simply accept what is given to us by the FAS. I do, however, think that there is a time to voice concerns.

I think we tend to forget that our players are not machines. They have feelings too and the psychology of players is often neglected. The negativity we spread is doing no one any favours. So instead, let’s put our trust in Tatsuma.

I know I have voiced my concerns over the selection of players in a previous article but I would like to emphasise that we need to trust the process. We live in a society that stresses a lot about results that we tend to forget that there is a process behind the outcome. There are no quick fixes. Instead, work needs to be done in the long run. I believe that Tatsuma is the man to lead us in the foreseeable future and I believe in his plan to bring Singapore to the next level.

Let’s stop the cynicism, try some positivity for a change and support the boys in red.


Catch them Live on Channel 5:

Palestine vs Singapore [2AM – 4th June]

Uzbekistan vs Singapore [2AM – 8th June]

Singapore vs Saudi Arabia [2AM – 12th June]

Featured Images: Football Association of Singapore

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