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