WORLD CUP 2014
JUNE 12-JULY 13
Big drop in fans at mass viewings but many soak in communal spirit
DECKED out in the famous yellow jerseys of Brazil, the Phooi family cheered on the World Cup hosts early yesterday morning at Bedok Community Centre's (CC) live screening of the first semi-final.
Even as the Selecao collapsed to a humiliating 7-1 thrashing by Germany, the family of four still continued to root for their favourite team amid the 120-strong crowd.
With both semi-finals and the final (which takes place on Monday morning Singapore time) available on free-to-air television, the Phoois had the option of supporting Brazil from the comfort of their Jalan Ubi home. Instead, they chose to drive to Bedok CC to watch the live screening.
"The buzz at a screening like this makes us feel like we are inside a packed stadium," said Jason Phooi, a 49-year-old civil engineer who was there with his 42-year-old wife, Kang Chai-Yen, and their two daughters aged six and four.
Kang added: "The beauty of football is that, no matter who you support, there will always be a spectacle from the constant cheering from both sets of fans."
Aircraft technician Goh Yong Hong, who has been to almost every screening at the CC, noted that yesterday's attendance was lower than the usual number of about 300.
For others like Azmi Jon, who caught the game with two of his friends, the late-night screenings allowed the group to watch the game together without having to worry about being too loud. "If we were to organise a viewing party at someone's home, we may disturb their family members who are asleep at the time," said 27-year-old, who is self-employed.
As the final whistle blew on Brazil's journey in the quadrennial tournament, Kang was at a loss for words over the five-time winners' capitulation.
"It was an embarrassing defeat. The pressure of performing for the expectant crowd may have finally taken its toll," she said.
Even though her team are out of the World Cup, her family will still show up at future screenings.
"With people from all walks of life coming together for one purpose, it is actually a good reflection of Singapore, and also allows for community bonding," she said.
This article was first published on July 10, 2014.
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