Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Lion City Cup : the good, the bad and the ugly.

Last week Singapore hosted its 23rd Lion City Cup and it looked like an exciting football tournament was going to take place with foreign teams such as Everton, Newcastle, Juventus and Flamingo joining the Singapore U15 and U16 teams. All games have been telecast live on Eurosport and therefore lots of media coverage. At the end everybody will remember the fantastic Flamingo team, with their stars including 3 players that are in the Youth Brazil National team.

The good:
Some really good local players were able to shine and show the world that Singapore got talents. But more than the players it was the way they played at times that indicated a glimpse of hope into Singapore football: these kids can play and they can follow a game plan.
Off the pitch, local fans were loud and cheerful. Singing and shouting during the full length of the games to support the U15 or U16 teams. It was good to see and hear Jalan Besar Stadium with such passion.

The Bad and the Ugly:
We all heard about it, some say the referees were more than 'friendly' towards the U15 and U16 teams dixit Eurosports TV commentators. Facts are that 'more than generous' red cards have only but one been awarded to the guest teams and yellow cards were flocking against every opponent of the Singaporeans teams. A controversial penalty retake during the qualifying round, a 'generous' penalty awarded in the 3rd game place , some harsh comments from Flamingo and Juventus coaches and here you go you got a Lion City Cup that looked like the U15 and U16 have been 'helped' to reach the semi finals and the final, this is what seem to appear by reading reports on Juventus or Tuttosport websites.

Probably this has nothing to do with the above comments, but co-organiser Red Car manager Sasikumar is suggesting that foreign referees may join next year Lion Cup City tournament. "One of the improvement we are looking at includes introducing foreign official to referee the important matches".
Now if only the Sleague was considering to follow these footsteps.... after 103 sleague games played (season 2011), 443 yellow cards awarded, 26 red cards, this is getting ridiculous.

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