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After Those Embarrassments, Let's Reach Out Together ...

It's regrettable that recently on two separate occasions some prominent local social media icons used the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak as a theme of their humour to mock at the expense of local football.

Subsequently, the postings from these social media icons had removed following feedback from local football supporters who registered their opinions on them.

The first thing came to my mind was how much does these social media icons know about local football to use it as a subject to poke fun with?

Apparently, one appeared to be zilch when the name "S League" was used in the posting using an old picture from an S.League match courtesy of one local news outlet.

If the aforementioned posting was referring to the local professional football league, the person who may not be aware that the league had rebranded and inaugurated as "Singapore Premier League" (SGPL) in 2018 by President Halimah Yacob at the National Stadium (two seasons already).

President Halimah Yacob (fourth from left) inaugurated the SGPL in March 2018
Eventually, the person behind that post realized that "oversight" and "gave a pat on the shoulder" on local football after a picture from the recent SGPL match between Tanjong Pagar United and Lion City Sailors at Jurong East Stadium were shared by this platform as a reply to the original twitter posting.

Just as we thought the saga was put behind, a similar posting was posted up days later by the company which first started out telling Singaporeans one of their favourite sauces provided by a fast-food chain was out of stock.

The response to the second posting was fast and furious with a number of supporters groups and fans flooded their replies with photo evidence to counter the picture of an empty Jalan Besar Stadium used by the said company.

The launch of the SGPL at the Singapore Sports Hub in March 2018
The reaction from these fans seems to be overwhelming that the posting was removed shortly after it was posted.

The removal of the post in question did not appease some in the local football fraternity who followed up with various number of the social media posts by tagging the name of the company in their updates which mostly depicted the colours and sights generated by supporters at the stand.

At the time of uploading this blog post, there is no reaction or whatsoever from the said company even though there is no obligation for them to do so but on the other hand, this unpleasant episode protruded the stigma that had long associated with local football - negativity.

It is because the negative image of the local game has etched on general public's mindset that any effort, good or bad, will be ridiculed before even given a chance to prove whether it is workable or not.

The correct form to write the name is to add a dot between the "S" and the "LEAGUE"
Things can't be helped either when Singapore football have been blemished with undesired publicity in the recent years that the stigma remains like a tattoo on the skin and proved to be a challenge to change the general mindset overnight.

Perhaps with these recent unintended interactions between the local football community and these social media icons, opportunities can be explored to see if both sides can work together to promote local game but ultimate aim is through these social media icons to reach out to a wider audience to have a better understanding of Singapore soccer.

The ball at anyone's court now for a brain storming session?