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Some thoughts over the media coverage..

I am one of those who clamour for more media coverage on local football.

But having seen the failure of our "another national team" to qualify for a major tournament next summer, whereas our very own Lions are just two hurdles away from the greatest show on earth, I'm not sure if my view has tweaked a little bit.

As compared to our former colonial masters, they are the media's darlings with every tipsy-bitsy well-detailed for all news-hunger fans, while the Lions are hardly worth mentioning on the back pages of some dailies (unless there's a major tournament).

Perhaps, that's the crux of it?

  • With the spotlights constantly hogging towards their run-up against Croatia, England (yes, aren't they being "another" national team of Singapore?) failed to make the cut to Euro2008.
  • And our very own Lions quietly made it to the top 20 of the Asian World Cup qualifier, with scarce media attention.
These contrasting sights remind me of 14 years ago (1993) when we were still in the Malaysian League.

Back then, we saw the emergence of the "Dream Team" after we were relegated to the lower tier of M-League.

A comic of the "Dream Team" - the Singapore football team taking part in the 1993 Malaysia League
The "Dream Team" 

Led by Coach Mr PN Sivaji, the team, skippered by Razali Saad, comprised stars like Fandi Ahmad, V Sundramoorthy, Alistair Edwards, Abbas Saad, etc.

It was a welcome antidote to disillusioned fans then as Singapore football was declared "dead" after the team were condemned to Division Two of the Malaysian League.

Fandi Ahmad
Fandi Ahmad

With such a star-studded line-up, Kallang was filled to capacity whenever they played. Thus, no surprise media spotlight was prominent, with the players constantly featured on the sports pages.

Details of the time-table of the team's training sessions were also made known hence it wasn't a surprise that training sessions at the old Jalan Besar Stadium attracted a sizable crowd including young girls trying their best to grab the attention of their idol Abbas Saad (pictured below).

Abbas Saad
Abbas Saad

This is why the downside of such intensive coverage had taken a toll on the Lions when they were being "pressured" to bring back the Malaysia Cup, which of course didn't happen after all.

So back to today, we have seen the plight of England, are we all being reminded of the similarities that happened in 1993?

And rewind a bit, two years ago... Before the start of the SEA Games in the Philippines. 2005's national U23 side was claimed to be the best bet to end the gold drought.

Who could be blamed for having that thought since those boys formed the backbone that clinched the Tiger Cup earlier that year?

With high hopes pinned on them, some massive publicity campaign went underway and you guessed it - the dismay outcome.

So the messages I would like to bring across are:-
  • Yes, local football must be given its fair share of coverage in the mainstream media.
  • But the thing is we shouldn't see the undesired outcome made their unwelcome presence when things spin out of control.
  • We ought to be objective and not finger-pointing around when things go haywire, which the media should play a role in educating the public about.


  1. Was on board the same train with Shi Jia Yi and J Surachai that day after the awards night.

    Now, here with have a national player inside a packed train at night, yet he was not recognized instantly!!

    Either, they weren't sure who he is or probably Jia Yi, himself would prefer that way.. not being noticed..:P


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