SINGAPORE – Former Lions defender Baihakki Khaizan has apologised for footage that showed him smiling and laughing after Singapore’s 4-1 defeat by Malaysia on Tuesday in the AFF Championship.
During the live broadcast, the camera had zoomed in on the VIP section at Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Jalil Stadium, where Baihakki was seated with Malaysia fans.
The video led to criticism of Baihakki, who retired in Feb 2022 and is now the lead of special projects and ambassador with the Football Association of Singapore, with some supporters expressing their unhappiness on his various social media platforms.
Shortly after the game, which saw Malaysia leapfrog Singapore in Group B and qualify for the semi-finals, Baihakki, 38, posted on Facebook saying he was sorry for “the incident”.
He explained that the broadcast had unfortunately panned to him as he was laughing at a “non-football related joke” with the people around him.
“How I wish the camera showed the times I smashed the bottle when the goals went in,” he lamented. He added, “However, I’m sorry for the misunderstandings.”
Baihakki has won three AFF Championship titles with the national team, and the Malaysia Super League title with the LionsXII in 2013. He has also played overseas in Indonesia, Thailand and for Johor Darul Ta’zim in Malaysia.
Baihakki later posted a second apology, this time a one-minute video on Instagram.
“I apologise to those who misinterpreted (it). It was not meant to (be) laughing at anybody,” he said. “I wanna be the bigger person here, to actually apologise to all of you and hopefully we are all on the same page.”
“Sometimes I think you are just unlucky, being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” he added. “But that’s alright, it’s okay, as long as we know, that these are mistakes that hopefully we can avoid next time.”