2017 Yearender: The sports desk's picks - 18 of our favourite moments

Civility amid the mayhem

It was petty, ugly even, going against everything that sport should be about. But there was a ray of hope in those disgraceful scenes at last month's brawl between local amateur football sides Yishun Sentek Mariners and Safsa.

Among all the punches thrown at the Jalan Besar Stadium, even those flying kicks aimed at opposing players, there was a warm handshake - and it sparkled.

Yishun's Zulkiffli Hassim took time to clasp hands with Safsa coach Kevin Wee, even as he dove into one melee after another, moving to break up the brawl.

Here's the kicker: Zulkiffli is a player known for his infamous short fuse, with a history of disciplinary issues that saw his S-League career cut short after he was expelled from Balestier Khalsa.

Lessons clearly can be learnt, and change effected. It was a small gesture but, in a dark, joyless year for Singapore football, Zulkiffli let a little light in.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2017, with the headline 'Civility amid the mayhem'. Print Edition | Subscribe