The record books will show that Singapore beat Myanmar 4-2.
But off the pitch, Myanmar taught us a couple of things.
I read in a report that Myanmar’s support was vociferous.
That’s an understatement.
Under the covered dome of our new National Stadium, you would have been hard pressed to say that Singapore was the home team.
The Myanmar fans raised the roof.
Their sang their national anthem with gusto. Damn power, siah.
Majulah Singapura was nary a mumbled whimper.
They sang and cheered. We used “eye power”.
Yes, their fans were concentrated in the away section whereas ours were spread throughout the rest of the stadium*.
I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if we were all seated together.
What is clear is that the Myanmar fans were there to lift their team.
3-0 down? No problem.
In contrast, Singaporeans were there to be entertained.
We went to the stadium to see our Lions score, to see our Lions win.
Hariss Harun knew it. I could see it in his eyes. He ran to the South Stand after his second goal, pleading with
fans spectators to raise the volume.
“I scored, so cheer more for us,” he seemed to say with his eyes and arms.
His gestures fell on blind eyes.
Other than the die-hard fans seated together, we have three main cheers, which are demanding, insulting and cheap support respectively.
- We want goal!
An easy cheer, especially at set pieces. We came to the stadium, now you must score.
- The clapping or air horn that ends with b***h. (Often supplemented with shouts of referee kayu!)
This one is for the ref, when we don’t agree with his decisions. Or an opposition player who is constantly fouling ours.
- Olé, olé, olé, olé, olé, olé. (Repeat a few times.)
Generally heard after a goal. Or when we are utterly dominant. Sing when we are winning, eh?
And that’s about the sum of our cheers. In between, silence or the occasional polite applause at a good move.
I know this is not new.
Why haven’t we progressed?
We didn’t. Otherwise, it would have been in the news too.
To think that Myanmar fans caused trouble at an AFF game between our countries a decade ago. (My goodness, I blogged about it.)
Myanmar’s fans have grown. Our National Stadium has had a makeover.
But Singapore fans, by and large, are still stuck in the dark ages.
Reflecting on this, I need to bring a trash bag to the next game against Malaysia.
* Our fault for not filling the stadium too. I don’t buy the argument that tickets are expensive. The same people spend probably $60 a month on EPL and European Champions League, and they probably buy expensive jerseys of other clubs and countries.