Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Singapore Football Week Overlooks Singapore Football
Apparently this is Singapore Football Week. Intrigued, I went to the Football Association of Singapore website to learn more about this and guess what? Nothing there about it. In fact there doesn't even seem to be anything about this being the FAS's 125th anniversary period. Almost begs the question is anything being done by the football body to commemorate the anniversary beyond hosting Argentina in a friendly? No special logo? No special branding? No special merchandise?
A miserable looking Cristiano Ronaldo breezed through Singapore last week and no, he wasn't being linked with a move to Balesiter Khalsa. Was his visit a part of the celebrations? The International Champions Cup is taking place at the National Stadium where Singaporeans are being asked to pay large sums of money to watch Inter, Bayern and Chelsea strut their stuff. There was also a game between ex Singapore internationals and a bunch of celebrities and their ilk at Jalan Besar Stadium. Oh, and a SLeague football fiesta is planned. What does this entail? Past and present Singapore internationals washing 125 cars for charity! This soapy bonanza takes place on the same day as, but in a different location to, Balestier Khalsa host Hougang United and Warriors entertain SLeague champions Albirex Niigata while Chelsea play Inter in the ICC.
Apparently there are 26 activities being lined up for Singapore Football Week including non traditional activities as Subbuteo. For many people who come from countries with a rich football culture it will be a surprise to learn Subbuteo is non traditional. As you would expect most of the activities are family centered and focus on getting healthy. But as a way of promoting Singapore football they fall well short.
For a start the activities seem to be organised by SportsSG and judging by some of the scheduling they haven't been doing much coordinating with either the FAS or the SLeague. Why, for example are players washing cars at the same time as crucial domestic games are being played around the island? Why wasn't the opportunity taken to have an SLeague game played ahead of the ICC circus games to allow domestic players the chance to play on a big stage in front of a larger crowd? You know, increase the awareness of the local game which is surely the whole point of Singapore Football Week? No doubt there would have been concerns over the pitch playing two games in a day, bloody hell is it made of mud, but the whole thing smacks of a box ticking exercise rather than any meaningful attempt to promote Singapore football.
Surely the SLeague should be centre stage of the celebrations, not sacrificed on the alter of Euro football greed and sidelined by slapstick activities that are high on selfie moments but low on 'football' moments?