Firstly, I profess that I am not a Singapore football fan or football in that regard. *cue surround sound boo-ing from football fans*
AND someone reminds me again why we insist on calling this sport Football instead of Soccer? Or is that our little way of rebelling against our British Colonial Past (said whilst sipping English Breakfast Tea from my dainty teacup).
But back to the main question. What is the appeal of Singapore football? Is it worth supporting? If it is, why aren't there more people doing so?
Singapore has never been a strong fan of supporting its local talent. We cast our lots with overseas teams. Only when our fellowmen make it big on an international stage/field, do we raise banners and blow horns for them.
Upon speaking to some others and a bit of self-reflection, seems the top two reasons on why the support isn't there is because:
Bad Rep of FAS and some clubs...
Rumours of political string-pulling and suspicious money handling is tarnishing the reputation of FAS and clubs. A lot of broken trust between those that manage the sport and those who support it.
Local Teams aren’t good enough...
Some locals seem to doubt the skills of our local teams. Is it worth watching and supporting our team when they can’t create a big enough impact on the AFC Asian Cup or FIFA World Cup? Hmm…to watch Manchester City or our Lion City...
BUT... might I suggest we see things from a different angle of this field...
Loyal SPL Fans don't go onto the spectator stand to cheer for F.A.S. They cheer for the players; the ones on the field sweating their pores out for that goal-den opportunity to score a mother-lovin point and earn the ear-bursting roar from the fans and hopefully a medal and/or Cup.
Do these rumours change how much effort the players put into the game? Nope.
Does it affect their morale if we stop supporting them because of this? Hell Yeah!
So maybe it's worth supporting the Players... Not The Politics.
Then we have those who don't support because there is no win in sight.
Is it only worth cheering the winning team, or do we cheer to show support for players who might not be good now, but given more support and motivation, might be good next time? Who knows! Maybe on the day he finally scores a Goal, he will do his victory run to the stands, flash his winning grin and jersey number in appreciation to the fans who didn't know he could do it but kept cheering him on anyway.
So if we look at it this way, I get it. Fans have a role to play too for Goal 2034...
So Friends and Countrymen, maybe it IS time to turn your eyes from old Trafford to Jalan Besar Stadium or whichever stadium your district team plays at.
Excuse me whilst I go google which team I’m supposed to support. In the meantime, cheers for reading!
About the Author
Full-time busybody, part-time emcee.
The stage is a special place for her, and her choice of weapon is a microphone.
She likes rooting for the opposing team in a game and argument.