Conflict ever: Thailand VS Singapore

1 02 2007

What a match! Have you missed the big match last night – ASEAN Championship final between Singapore and Thailand. The football final has finally created a new page in ASEAN football history…the Thai team being disappointed by the decision of the Malaysian referee (C. Ravichandran) to award the host a hotly disputed penanlty walked off the pitch and refused to continue their play for about 15 minutes…the play resumed thereafter and ended with Singapore’s victory by 2 – 1.

When the match was over, I know that it is going to be the headline for local Thai papers and the talk of the town about unfairness of the referee the following morning. True enough…every television and radio channel reports the unjust treatement the Thai team faced during the match yesterday. The Thais have reasons to be dissatisfied with the referee’s decision. Television replays suggested there was little contact between the two players -Thai centreback Niwet Siriwong and Noh Alam Shah who was in the penalty area.

It was a tense beginning and a sad ending. Taking into account the current relations between Thailand and Singapore especially after the visit of Thai fomer Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and subsequent exchange of words between the two parties and also several protest in front of the Singapore Embassy, the Thai team must have taken a deep breath before going to Singapore. They must have expected or known that the match would not be easy…after all it is just a game.

The second leg of ASEAN Championship final will be in Thailand on Sunday 4th February and it promises to be another tense match. Let’s hope that the players play fairly and that the referee makes fair judgement on the spot. Let’s hope also that they understand that it is just a game…you win today but can be lost tomorrow. Let’s leave sport out of politics….


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