Football and Controversy

I watched the Singapore vs. Thailand (ASEAN Football Championships) match on Wednesday. I had gone into the match thinking that it was going to be a dull affair.

I’m the kind of person who goes to a football match not so much concerned with the proceedings but with the final result. This match, being only the first of two legs, meant that no matter what happened here, the “final result”, that is, whoever wins the Championships, would not be known.

Thailand also not being physically as close to Singapore as Malaysia is, meant that this match couldn’t be considered a “derby” as well. All the signs pointed to a dull affair. It’s like masturbation without the climax, if you know what I mean.

But by the end of the match, I was left feeling like this match was even greater than the Malaysian one. Even if Singapore did not win this leg (which we did, 2-1), I would have felt that this game left me feeling much more excited about football than anything I had ever seen in recent history.

Controversy: The Spice of Life

In case you haven’t heard, about ten minutes from time Singapore was awarded a dubious penalty. The Singaporean player was trying his luck here, when he decided to go down. The referee, incidentally Malaysian (to everyone’s surprise), gave the penalty.

The Thai players, angered by the decision, stormed off the pitch, an action supposedly instigated by their coach.

For about ten minutes the spectators, including me, were left wondering what was happening. Many of us had to send text messages to people we knew were watching this game live on television to find out.

The ten minutes we were left in the dark about what was happening was the most “happening” time. People started getting passionate; fans who had wanted to beat the crowd by leaving early stayed; people started singing; verbal abuse flew like Superman on steroids.

Suddenly, my ticket price felt justified. I could not believe my eyes. Unraveling before my eyes was history in the making, and I loved every minute of it!

Controversy is the spice of life!

Here is a picture of the match, during the ten minute spell they were off the pitch. You can see the team in blue shirts on the pitch, that’s Singapore. The team in red shirts gathered near the “dug-out” is where the Thai players are. Oh boy, I enjoyed myself that night.

Thai Singapore match

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