For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

[Starhub League Cup] Wrong Trophy, Faulty Goalposts and Sport Science ...

To sum up this year's Starhub League Cup is nothing less than the number of weird occurrences that took place before and during the proceedings.

Started off from the line was the relevant body that oversee this mid-year spectacle placed a full-page print advertisement on The New Paper to drum the awareness.

The print advert on TNP on 6th July
Nothing wrong for that until a friend of mine texted me to raise a few issues and for my concern was the League Cup trophy, itself, wasn't featured beside the World Cup trophy on the page but the S.League title trophy.

Rounding up the embarrassment was enticing the fans to turn up at any stadium "near" their home for some League Cup actions, before heading off to the community clubs to watch the action in Brazil, whose broadcast rights were held by another provider, a rival to Starhub.

It wasn't that long before incidents on the field hogged the limelight.

The match scheduled between Tampines Rovers and Warriors was abandoned after faulty goal posts were discovered prior to the match during inspection with questions raised who should be responsible for that?

How I was informed about the "faulty goalposts"
Eventually, the rescheduled match saw the Warriors defeated the Stags and knocked the reigning league champions out of contention (Tampines lost to Geylang International in an earlier match), but the story did not end there for Alex Weaver's men.

Having a place assured in the quarter-final phrase following the win over Tampines, the Englishman caused a stir by fielding a team made up of reserves and Prime League players that lost 4-0 to Geylang at Choa Chu Kang.

Questions were raised if Weaver had breached the rules for fielding an "under strength" team when it is required to play to full strength at any S.League game, in which the League Cup matches are considered as well.

One of the memes that circulated on net after Warriors' loss 
Such a magnitude of the controversy had the former Hougang United coach came up with a statement to defend his actions and added that he "can understand why some people without an understanding of sports science have made certain comments because that's what it looks like".

Unfortunately, the move did not yield any dividend when a strike from Firdaus Idros in the extra time of the quarter-final match saw the most successful club in the league history being knocked out of the only tournament they yet to win since the league's inception.

KGS was empty or close from access?
Then came a blog post that surfaced just two days before the Cup final between Brunei DPMM and Tanjong Pagar United with the questions prompted at the organizers' commitments towards the whole tournament that generated quite a buzz online.

But nothing was more unusual that no one from the title sponsors turned up at the podium to give away the trophy, which was presented by FAS adviser, Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee with S.League CEO Lim Chin in attendance.

Mr Lim (left) and AP Ho graced the final
Anyway, it had been an event full of surprises and jaw-dropping moments that little wondering if this was worth an effort to host this tournament after all?

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