“FAS is shocked and disappointed with Profitable Group”

By |2009-08-01T16:39:12+00:00August 1st, 2009|football, RED out loud|14 Comments
Views: 3,011

In the aftermath of Liverpool FC’s storied visit, many football fans expressed their discomfort with the rabid support for Liverpool as contrasted against the quieter Singapore side. Was it a question of loyalty? Or simply enjoying what you paid for? In any case, why was there such uneven treatment of the two teams?

In a strongly-worded letter released yesterday evening, the Football Association of Singapore gives its point of view.

FAS is shocked and disappointed with Profitable Group

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) are heartened by the emails and letters expressing strong support for our national football team.

The Lions and the FAS value and appreciate the kind support of our football fans over the years, including the match on Sunday, and pledge to continue to put in more effort both on and off the field so as to win over more Singaporeans to support our Lions.

In a cosmopolitan society like Singapore, where Singaporeans have easy access to overseas professional club matches on TV, it is natural that many are also ardent fans of foreign clubs. It has also been FAS' position that support for a favourite overseas club team and our Singapore Lions need not be mutually exclusive.

James Lim, Club Secretary for the Official Liverpool Fan Club could not have put it better when he expressed in an email to FAS, "We may be Liverpool fans, but we are also Singaporeans who love our national team."

On the issue of the national anthem, since this match was not an ´A' international match played between two national teams, FAS and the Promoters had agreed that the Singapore national anthem and the Liverpool club "anthem" would not be played as part of the official match ceremony. We were shocked and disappointed when this agreement was breached when the Liverpool anthem was played immediately after the introduction of our Guest of Honour to the two teams. Similarly, the Promoters and emcee had also assured FAS that they will give fair coverage and support to the Lions during the pre-match segments.

FAS are in the midst of finalising the post-match review and will officially take up the matter with the Promoters on the breaches mentioned above, as well as other issues that have been brought to our attention, before taking appropriate actions.

Once again we thank the writers and the local football fans for their continuous support and urge all Singapore fans to come to the National Stadium on 12th August 2009, to cheer on our Lions as they take on Asian giants P.R. China in an International ´A' match as part of the National Day Challenge at 7.30pm.

Source: FAS website

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14 Comments

  1. jan August 3, 2009 at 12:17 am - Reply

    @Scouser, @Seetow – Both of you are equally right in the way you feel about the situation as it all goes down to what shapes who you are.

    A person’s national identity is but one of the many identities that co-exist to make us who we are.

    Our identity is simply what/who we identify with – but which identity becomes more dominant in a person depends a lot on the “communal” shared experience. There is no right or wrong per se.

    If we have to associate sports with nationalism, then its not just about winning as it is about the athlete or the team in national colours exemplifying the national spirit to pull people together.

    Liverpool for instance, supporters all over the world are unified by their motto of “You Will Never Walk Alone”, which the team has to consistently exemplify, deepening the sense of togetherness.

    Though I do think “betrayal” is a harsh call, because in the end, sports itself is meaningless as an agent of nationalism until the national spirit is embodied on the pitch and unifying the nation.

  2. seetow August 2, 2009 at 9:43 pm - Reply

    sorry scouser (why don’t you dare put your real name?) for calling your bluff but i am not a man utd supporter, nor a chelsea or arsenal supporter at that. i am a newcastle united fan and a singapore lions fan.

    perhaps you might try to pay more attention to our national team before trying to make yourself sound coherent here on redsports. why does raddy not play noor ali nor ahmad latiff? mainly because ahmad latiff is someone whom raddy views as a potential problem in the locker room. the start of ahmad latiff’s exclusion from the national team was in 2004, when raddy called him up for a friendly (or a training camp, my memory fails me) and apparently he gave a no-show for reasons that raddy deemed unacceptable. as for noor ali, it was mainly due to his betting issue a couple of years back, when he was banned a few months from playing football because he was caught betting on the s-league. plus, if you have watched raddy’s teams in the last couple of years, there has not really been a need for a wing player such as noor ali, because raddy favours pace on the flanks (which noor ali doesn’t have) in muhammad ridhuan, khairul amri, fazrul nawaz and shahril ishak.

  3. YZ August 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Yupp it’s all about identity. Thats the main issue.

    As a Liverpool fan, I was torn between the support of my favorite club and my country. It felt kinda weird, but if it was a “fas team” with players from the S.League (which MIGHT consist of national players by all means) there wouldn’t be any doubt who I would be supporting.

    For the issue of foreign players in the national team, this has always been debatable. This might also be another reason why the national identity is hard to come by. But which is more important? Results or the ORIGINAL nationality of the people represent your country? In the end they are all Singaporeans now, so my point of view is: why care?

  4. Les August 2, 2009 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    @Scouser – I agree with you that it is blown out of proportion in some ways. The talk about the anthem is misplaced. There was no need for the Singapore national anthem and I think the Liverpool anthem was beautifully sung by Singaporeans.

    The main issue is whether or not we should have let our national team play. We should have realised that if the organisers were going to turn Kallang into the Kop and go the whole hog, then stick the FAS logo on the jerseys and let the team wear that, not the one with the Singapore flag.

    You may not agree with Seetow’s heartfelt emotions and you might even laugh at him for feeling that way about Singapore, but it is authentic. And I think others feel that way too. It is not unthinkable that Singaporeans can feel strongly for a Singapore team as much as others do for a foreign club team.

    I for one felt uncomfortable pitch side with the crowd cheering on Liverpool at the expense of the national team and this whole week, I have been exploring this topic in my posts.

    I do not watch the EPL, hence my ambivalence to all things EPL.

    In as much as you feel a disconnect with the Singapore national team for having Chinese, Nigerians and Englishmen – a feeling some others in Singapore share as well – some other have the same disconnected feeling with English Premier League clubs.

    For those of us who don’t watch the EPL at all, it is very weird to see people being fanatical about a team with which they have no natural connections by birth or ethnicity.

    This is not to question the fact that Liverpool and the other big teams in the EPL can play outstanding quality football.

    But this whole topic is not about football, but about identity.

    And it will be a long while yet before the answers are clear.

  5. sonebody August 2, 2009 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    who whould want to play $88 or $188 to see singapore play??

    Liverpool is a top club, of coz when they come here, most likely we will support them right?!?!?!

    this is such a stupid issue… whats wrong with it?

    maybe it was a mistake to play the national team…an s-league selection would be fine…

    and the reason we all support liverpool: how many star players are their in liverpool and how many are there in singapore? how often do you get to see torres, alonso, reina, carragher play live in person? and how ofter do you get to see our national team players play? certainly not every 8 years right??? so come on guys, be more understanding… when singapore played in the ASEAN cup we supported them right? so does this mean we must support them every match?? this is stupid…

    anyways,liverpool really played well and gave us what we paid for.

  6. Scouser August 2, 2009 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Well, i am sure Mr Seetow is a Man Utd fan. Come on, don’t be naive.So we paid $88 to watch Liverpool and when they score, we cannot cheer and shout? Interesting

    If Singapore was to score and we do not cheer, that’s a problem but the truth is Singapore did not score.We did cheer when they had their 2 chances.

    If we could live in Liverpool,we wouldn’t need to wait for 8 years for them to come.Waste country resources? You mean all Liverpool fans don’t work? Interesting

    I am downright disgusted to see Singapore not using our own talents for soccer.Why no Ahmad Latiff? Why no Noor Ali? I still do not understand why we need to use players like Qiu Li and Agu Casmir.That’s disgusting

  7. anything August 2, 2009 at 3:20 am - Reply

    would anyone pay that amount of money to support team singapore?
    face it!

  8. seetow August 2, 2009 at 1:28 am - Reply

    i think it was disgraceful, downright disgraceful that the national team be treated like the “away” team in our own backyard, in our own fortress, the national stadium. it just sickened me to watch how local fans cheered wildly when voronin scored the first goal that i stopped watching immediately. being an ardent fan of singapore national team, i am compelled to feel betrayed by these fans. why live in singapore and waste our country’s resources when you could be better off living in liverpool and supporting your favourite football club? we are singaporeans for a reason and watching the wild scenes of celebration after each liverpool goal just made me downright disgusted.

  9. Scouser August 1, 2009 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    still, it’s stupid to let this thing blow out of proportion.

    we waited 8 years, 8 long years for Liverpool to come and now this nonsense.

    FAS have also clarify that the National Anthem will only be played during International matches so i don’t understand what’s the fuss about.If the National anthem is played, we Singaporeans will surely stand up and sing it with pride.

    I think the Liverpool players are quite shocked to see British,Nigerian,China players all coming together.Great plan eh FAS?

    GOAL 2010? add 1 more 0 at the back.

  10. zak August 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    What do you expect from a scouse? expected it…

  11. Scouser August 1, 2009 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    This is plain stupid. It’s blowing up a small matter which makes no sense.

    The You’ll Never Walk Alone anthem was a classic tradition and fans who went there wanted to sing the anthem.Almost 99% of people there paid $88,$188 to catch their favourite team in action.Who would pay $88 or $188 to watch Singapore play? Its cruel but its the truth.

    During the Tiger Cup and World Cup qualifiers,Kallang was filled to the brim.Liverpool was the main character on that day and i was in the stands.When Singapore attacked,the fans cheered as well.When it matters, the fans will still cheer their hearts for our lions.

    Now why don’t the FAS say something about their lie? Their lie to demolish the Kallang stadium which is still standing today.

    It’s a shame but i think it’s going to take a hell of a effort to welcome back Liverpool.

    • Les August 1, 2009 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      @Scouser: FAS doesn’t run the stadium.

      SSC does.

      And the stadium isn’t demolished because the consortium awarded the tender have no financing to build the new Sports Hub.

      Don’t need to attack the FAS unnecessarily, especially inaccurately.

  12. jan August 1, 2009 at 3:11 pm - Reply

    This is actually quite funny and amateurish of FAS if I can say.

    You know what all these sound like?

    A failed parent pointing fingers at everyone – the school, the OTHER kids – but himself for the misdoings of his ‘wayward’ child.

    It is a tradition the club has adopted to play the “anthem” before their games kicked off. I am equally shocked and disappointed that FAS actually made such a demand that IMHO disregards the history and tradition of the visitors. Instead, FAS could have imposed on the organisers to play the national anthem to get around this.

    For an event like this, it is ridiculous to ask or even expect the organisers not to have “You will never walk alone” played before the game. The song is not even exclusive to Liverpool, it being a song from Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, Carousel, and covered in the 1960s by Gerry & The Pacemakers that made it a hit in UK.

    It will clearly be a losing battle if the FAS uses this as their ‘defense’ to cover up/get around their own oversight if I may say. To have the profit-makers point out that there was no “contract” or signed agreement, well, will any parent allow his child to walk through the lion’s den without buying insurance for the child?

    “The Promoters and emcee had also assured FAS that they will give fair coverage and support to the Lions during the pre-match segments.” – What was FAS expecting? Well, basic effort was there with every spectator given a national flag and the emcee informing the crowd to show up for S.league games – it was so intentional.

    FAS will be kidding if they thought that the profit-makers will block out a stand and give them tickets to distribute to Singaporeans for free. This was clearly a money-making stunt – if FAS allowed for this match to take place then the onus is on them to put in place measures to prevent any ‘bias’ treatment, period.

    The only “appropriate action” is to concede their guard was down, and move on from this episode as a learning experience – especially on the preventive measures one could have taken to fiercely guard our elusive national pride.

  13. Singapore Sports Fan August 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    In yesterday’s edition of The New Paper, Steve McMahon, when contacted, said there was no ageement with the FAS not to play the anthemns

    In today’s edition of TNP, when told that the FAS had this agreement noted in the minutes of their meeting with Profitable Group, the police, the Singapore Sports Council, etc, Steve McMahon replies:

    “Was my signature on a contract? There was no contract.”

    These flippant replies just reveal the measure of the man, and suggests a screw-you-I-can-do-anything-I-want, superior-than-thou attitude.

    This is why I hated and gave up watching Football Focus a long time ago.

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