Home ground disadvantage

Home ground disadvantage
Neymar celebrating after scoring during Tuesday’s match between Brazil and Japan at the National Stadium. The poor state of the pitch has come in for criticism from various quarters.

I remember the times when I attended football matches at the holy ground of the old National Stadium. I grew up with so many memories of Fandi, Sundram and the other legends.

Somehow, it seems our new National Stadium is no longer the caring mother it used to be.

National footballers Baihakki Khaizan and Khairul Amri have expressed concern over the state of the pitch and scheduling of events ahead of the Suzuki Cup.

How is it that the national team have not played or trained at the new stadium? A national stadium without a national team playing and training in it is like a body without a soul.

The whole concept of having a home ground is that the team train there and get familiar with every blade of grass. But now, they cannot even set foot on the pitch - unlike Juventus, Brazil, Japan, various rugby teams and, soon, even Mariah Carey.

When the stadium was reconstructed, it was touted as a showcase for the Lions to strut their stuff on a world-class field - but that is not happening.

Commercial priorities seem to have overruled the primary purpose of the stadium.

Honestly, I do not see the logic of flying in Brazil and Japan for a match, when the Lions have to travel to Hong Kong and Macau to play their friendly matches.

Football is a sport that unites Singaporeans; which other sport can conjure up the Kallang Roar? Thus, I urge the stadium's management and relevant government bodies to address the problems.

M. Halim A. Wahab


This article was first published on Oct 16, 2014.
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