Tag Archives: Liverpool

A high for Liverpool fans as Singapore football sinks to a new low

The letter below appeared in The Straits Times today, and truth be told, I was expecting something like this to be published sooner or later.

I had refrained from commenting on the way Liverpool were cheered on by the majority of the 45,000 crowd at the Nationa Stadium and how Singapore only reportedly received ‘polite applause” from the fans simply because this is something you can’t pass judgement on.

How can you tell a die-hard fan of an English football club that he was an unpatriotic  moron for supporting his team in action, and for applauding the players he idolises whenever they scored? You can’t, because this is what being a football fan is all about.

Yet, in the same way, how can one not feel upset that Singapore fans opted to back an English football team instead of giving their undying support to their own national team? You can’t, either.

At the end of the day, I blame the Singapore Sports Council and the Football Association of Singapore for all this: for letting the match organisers run riot with their ideas and allowing them to turn the National Stadium into a version of Anfield.

Where was the foresight here? Was that dimmed by the excitement of having one of the world’s top clubs play here?

At the end of the day, aren’t the SSC the masters of the National Stadium and the FAS the governing body of football in Singapore?

Shouldn’t they have stipulated some do-es and don’ts for the organisers before renting the stadium to them and sanctioning the match?

In other words, this farcical situation could possibly have been prevented.

Maybe it’s a valuable lesson learnt for next time? (at the expense of our Lions and their fans suffering the embarrassmen of seeing the Grand Old Dame being turned into a version of an English football club’s home ground)

I also think Jamie Yeo was a real twit for having the gall to announce “THIS IS ANFIELD” over the public address system. One would have thought that she would have some sense or maturity to not do something like this. 

But then again, she apparently spent most of her life growingup in the US, and she has always struck me as a dimwit, so I can’t say I am surprised.

Here’s one more thought: would we feel more affection and pride for the Lions if there weren’t so many naturalised citizens playing in the team these days?

Well, back to the letter that was published in today’s Straits Times:

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Lions were forgotten amid the swooning

(The Straits Times, Forum Page, 28 July 2009)

YESTERDAY’S reports, ‘Kallang to KOP – Fans transform National Stadium into ‘home ground’ for Liverpool’, left me disappointed, but not over the 5-0 victory by Liverpool over the national team.

I was struck by skipper Noh Alam Shah’s lament that he felt insulted that the emcee should have called the National Stadium – the home ground where he and his teammates play their hearts out for Singapore – as the home stadium of Liverpool.

‘This is Anfield,’ crowed the emcee, and it left me feeling as disheartened as Alam Shah.

Where was the national pride when our players walked onto their own stadium? The stadium swooned to the Liverpool anthem, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, but where was Majulah Singapura? Unplayed and forgotten.

If the fans on Sunday night had cheered on Singapore as well, would it have motivated them to play better and achieve a more respectable result?

I commend the Lions who played well and tried their best. I am proud of the national team.

The Football Association of Singapore and future organisers of such high-profile exhibitions should put in more effort to encourage our fans to support our own Lions.

And yes, please remember to play the National Anthem, and remind the emcee to get it right: this (the National Stadium) is not Anfield, this is Singapore.

Lui Teow Eng

****************

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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Wonderful Saturday: Ting Wen breaks national record; Lay Chi qualifies for SEA Games

The reports:

I found these two small reports in today’s edition of The Sunday Times.

Quah Ting Wen’s breaking of Joscelin Yeo’s national 50m freestyle record at the National Age-Group Swimming Championships was a seven-paragraph report dwarved by the story it was placed next to – that of unknown Chinese shuttler Wang Yihan who emerged out of nowhere to defeat Denmark’s Tine Rasmussen to take the All-England women singles title:

Ting Wen breaks Jos’ 50m mark (The Sunday Times, 15 March 2009)

 

By Jonathan Wong

 

Quah Ting Wen yesterday lowered the women’s national 50 metres freestyle record to 25.80 seconds.

 

The Raffles Junior College student, 17, rewrote Joscelin Yeo’s 2005 record of 26.13sec at the National Age Group Swimming Championships at the Singapore Sports School.

 

‘I’m very happy and surprised. My training hasn’t changed much and I didn’t prepare specifically for this competition,” she said.

 

‘I just try to swim my best at each race and not to think too much about breaking records. It’s a pleasant bonus though.’

 

Her effort also secured her the Under-17 record, a day after Amanda Lim had broken Ting Wen’s previous best of 26.39 by seven hundredths of a second.

 

It was Ting Wen’s second national record. She had broken another of Joscelin’s records at the Beijing Olympics last year, clocking 4min 51.25sec for the 400m individual medley.

 

In other races Shana Lim, 15, eclipsed Tao Li’s Under-17 national mark in the 100m backstroke in 1:03.42 and Lionel Khoo, 13, bettered his previous bests in the 50m (30.53) and 100m breaststroke (1:06.89). Joseph Schooling, also 13, claimed a personal-best in the 100m butterfly (59.40).

 

The meet ends tomorrow.

The report of national discus thrower Wan Lay Chi qualifying for the SEA Games was even smaller – a three-paragraph write-up in the Sports Briefs column:

Wan’s best throw (The Sunday Times, 15 March 2009)

 

Wan Lay Chi set a personal best of 47.74 metres in winning the discus throw at the 3rd All-Comers Athletics Meet at Gombak Stadium yesterday.

 

Her previous best was 47.17m in another All-Comers meet three years ago.

 

To add to the 19-year-old’s joy, she also met the qualification mark of 45.73m for December’s South-east Asia Games in Laos.

My thoughts:

I felt it was a real pity that the feats of these two young local athletes ended up being given such limited coverage.

Sure, I can understand the newspapers’ need to serve the interests of its readers and focus on stories which they think, hence the huge coverage given to the Liverpool-Manchester United game and other EPL matches.

I guess the people behind the sports pages must have also felt that the lifting of Malaysia Cup hero Abbas Saad’s lifetime ban in Singapore was also significant news (especially for those who can still remember the Malaysia Cup days) and as such, merited in that full-page profile piece on the retired Australian footballer, now a youth coach in Sydney.

But I still can’t help feeling that more coverage (or editorial acreage, in journalistic parlance) could have been given to the achievements of these two young and upcoming members of Team Singapore.

I mean, here are two wonderful moments of achievement in local sport for us to savour, by young, local emerging athletes. And yet this is all the amount of space that can be spared for them?

Look at what Ting Wen has accomplished: she broke Joscelin Yeo’s long-standing national 50m freestyle record by 0.5secs. It is also the second time she has broken a mark set by Joscelin Yeo.

Ting Wen’s feat means two things – that

 a) our one-time swim queen Joscelin Yeo is slowly but surely being erased from the national record books and

b) that Ting Wen is slowly coming of age and emerging as a top-class swimmer that Singapore can count on to deliver a couple of individual  SEA Games gold medals at Laos at the end of the year.

After all, from 1993 to 2005, Joscelin was practically the saviour of the Singapore Amateur Swimming Association, and the queen of Singapore sports.

She would single-handedly deliver most of the swimming golds for Singapore at the SEA Games.

And thanks to her, Singapore would end up toting up a respectable haul of golds at the biennial regional Games and finishing a respectable fifth in the overall medal standings.

Most of her national records were also SEA Games records.

Honestly, I would have preferred to have read more about Ting Wen than Wang Lihan today.

Likewise, it would have been nice to read more about Lay Chi in today’s papers. Doesn’t qualifying for the SEA Games warrant more space than three paragraphs?

After all, it means that the 21-year-old thrower – who is seen as the local successor to the China-born Zhang Guirong – has now met the bronze-medal winning distance of the previous SEA Games,  the qualifying benchmark for this year’s Games.

And really, it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard of any news of this former Teck Whye Secondary School student, who, incidentally, was part of the generation of promising throwers that the school produced in the late 1990s under the tutelage of Choo Chee Kiong.

 I last read about her at the 2007 SEA Games in Korat where she finished fourth in the shot put, missing the bronze by a mere 0.19m.

Six months before that, she was also Singapore’s sole gold medal winner at the 2nd South-east Asian Junior Athletics Championships. She also set a new national age-group record with her 13.26m throw in the shot -put.

Singapore Amateur Athletics Association supremo Loh Lin Kok was even quoted as saying that he would be giving her an open ticket to train anywhere because of her talent.

So, yes, it would have been really nice if these two young ladies were given more significant coverage in today’s papers as a way of recognising their achievements and efforts.

It would have also gone a long way in helping to raise the stature of local sports, and the profiles of young local athletes who are going to be our flag-bearers on the international sporting stage (even if the stage is a lowish-level platform like the SEA Games).

So, my heartiest congratulations to Ting Wen and Lay Chi. I hope your achievements will help to spur you on to greater heights this year, especially at the SEA Games.

Shame about the lack of coverage though.

Yours in sport

Singapore Sports Fan

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