SEA Games: 6 members of Singapore football team broke curfew during tournament

A photo taken on Dec 3, 2019, shows the Singapore Under-22 football before their SEA Games match against Vietnam in Manila.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - Six Singapore Under-22 footballers are set to face disciplinary action after breaking curfew while on duty with the Young Lions at the  ongoing SEA Games in the Philippines.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) confirmed on Thursday (Dec 5) six players had breached the team’s code of conduct and added they  “were given a stern formal warning and will face disciplinary hearings upon their return to Singapore after the SEA Games.”

Sources told The Straits Times the incident happened last Sunday (Dec 1) night, after Singapore’s 3-0 loss to Thailand. The players allegedly returned to their base at the Century Park Hotel in Manila in the wee hours.

An internal investigation was conducted by the Singapore football team officials before the matter was reported to the SNOC.

ST has reached out to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

This is not the first time Team Singapore athletes have broken similar curfew rules at major Games.

In 2014, swimmers Joseph Schooling, Teo Zhen Ren and Roanne Ho were issued warning letters by the SNOC after leaving the Athletes' Village without permission at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

Athletes representing the country at multi-sport events like the SEA Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympics, are made to sign a Code of Conduct which they are expected to adhere to.

For Singapore football, this is the latest case of ill discipline involving the national teams. In 2010, five members of the senior side were fined $500 for staying up late during their botched Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup campaign in Hanoi.

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They were were caught playing card games in a player’s hotel room at about 1am  – hours after the team had beaten Myanmar 2-1.

It was also two days before their vital  clash with Vietnam, a match which they eventually lost and resulted in their elimination from the tournament at the group stage.

The FAS never named these five Lions.

On Thursday, the Young Lions ended their Games campaign with an inconsequential 7-0 win over Brunei, having already been eliminated after a 1-0 loss to Vietnam on Tuesday.

They finished fourth in the six-team Group B with one win, one draw and three losses. They did not advance to the semi-finals, the third straight Games they have failed to do so.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.