Saturday, September 15, 2012

A painful game for LionsXII

It’s been a long while since I last blogged and this is definitely not the kind of post I would want to make after a long rest… The match against the Johor FC was just pathetic.

Just a reminder, the name, “LionsXII”, is a tribute to the fans who are recognised as the 12th man in football. The “LionsXII” Facebook page had this on it: “FOR COUNTRY l FOR FANS l FOR PASSION l FOR FOOTBALL”. It is the most supported local club in Singapore, the backbone of our very own national team and the pride of Singaporeans, being a fully local-bred team with the exception of Agu Casmir. LionsXII has just failed everyone that supported them.

Quote from @kallangfortis “Competitive #Sleague are dying for spectators! Yet #LionsXII are boring the supporters away!”

We are in a period where support is lacking in our local football scene. There are many people putting in lots of effort to pull in more support for local football despite all the criticism on local football and all the down times, they have not left. Before placing any blame on anyone, I believe the team owe the fans an apology. This is probably the most basic thing to do after wasting 30 minutes of the fans time in the stand and probably an hour or even more in traveling.

It is not about just progressing in the tournament, it is about the attitude and mentality of the team. Where is the mentality to win? Football is actually a pretty simple thing - the fans want exciting matches and the team is there not just to win silverwares but also to entertain their fans too. Fans were there to watch the game and when the game plan changed, they booed and they chanted “We want goals”. The team made no response and continue to play passes in their own half to run down the clock.

Where is the responsibility LionsXII have towards the fans? Where is the professionalism? The team were playing at home with a sold-out stadium, at least according to FAS, and yet played 30 minutes of passing. The fans had to be tortured for 30 minutes by the boring game from both teams that showed no desire to win at all. The opposition team can do whatever they want, but is it right for the LionsXII to follow the suit and just play to their pace? Or is there even any pace to start with? Is it fair for the fans who have travelled and paid? I believe not. After such an unsporting and irresponsible act, are you guys still worthy of the fans’ undying support?

At the end of the 90 minutes, I saw Baihakki attempting to thank or perhaps to apologise to the fans but stopped by his teammates. (effort appreciated) The LionsXII return to their dressing room heads down. Why? That’s because they are shamed by their own game. A game that they were forced to play. It is not a poor performance which they work harder in training to prove themselves in the next match. The players know themselves that it was a disgraceful game that they had to play out and still, had to endure the jeers from their own fans.

To all fans out there, don’t blame the players. I believe many of them have not been willing to play out such a game and was merely following the management’s instructions. Let us just wait for the explanation Sundram has and how he would be able to justify himself.

Update: Baihakki apologizing in his twitter account.

Continue believing in our players because they are the only hopes we have left! 


-Support S.League, National Team and LionsXII.

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