Although I somewhat agree that we could have had more Singaporeans wearing red during the match against Japan on Nov 12 ("The Lions need a 12th man to roar"; Nov 14), the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the match organisers have to play their part as well.
My thoughts on the match are:
- Why were the best seats along the length of the National Stadium pitch reserved for visiting fans? I was at the match and there were definitely enough supporters in red to fill that section.
The pride felt when seeing a sea of red would have done much to motivate our players.
But what happened was that our Lions were greeted by a sea of blue, while those in red were mostly located at the corners of the stadium.
- Why were all the pitchside billboards flashing Japanese advertisements? Is it because these brought in more profits?
- Why was celebratory music played when the visiting team scored?
As a football fan, I say stop playing celebratory music completely. Loud cheering is music to our ears and we do not want this to be drowned out by noise from the sound systems.
I felt very embarrassed, not because some fans were wearing blue and not because of the football on display by our Lions, but because the FAS and match organisers did not even seem to believe in providing the most conducive atmosphere for the home team.
Football clubs fear visiting Galatasaray because of the famed intimidation they feel at the Turkish club's home ground. Liverpool has its "This is Anfield" sign just before the stadium tunnel's exit.
In Singapore, we have created the exact opposite environment, thanks to the aforementioned points.
I am not against the Japanese team. In fact, I like Japan and support them during international tournaments such as the World Cup, but when they are playing our own Lions, the very least we could do is to display some pride - and that starts with the mindset of the FAS and the organisers.
I felt embarrassed even before the first ball was kicked.
To me, the match was effectively lost even before the first whistle.
Perhaps the match was viewed as a money-spinning opportunity.
Those in charge must foster pride in our team so that fans are able to continue supporting local football.
Lim Soon Li