I agree with former national player Aleksandar Duric that the 32-0 scoreline in the preliminary-round B Division boys' football game between the Singapore Sports School (SSP) and Assumption Pathway School (APS) should not have happened (Lopsided 32-0 score in National School Games football match stirs debate, Jan 25).
Mr Duric had issues with the format of the competition, but my issue lies with the SSP coach and the adults who were present.
SSP's mission is "Nurturing Learned Champions with Character" and the first of five core values listed on its website is "Respect". In its pursuit of excellence, has it forgotten to teach its students basic decency and the need to show respect for opponents who might not enjoy the fine coaching that SSP offers?
One of the referees or an adult present at the match could have paused and thought about the escalating scoreline and had a word with the SSP coach.
Neutrality and playing by the book is important, but when the discrepancy in strength between two teams is so vast, is it not as important to speak up for the weak?
I have utmost respect for the APS players who stayed the course of the game. May they all continue to show the same resilience that they displayed at the match. I hope that when there comes a time they emerge as the stronger party, they remember to show the class and compassion of true champions.
Lim Mei Ling