Back in the 50's we used gather to watch a large TV screen in the village. At that time RTS (the local broadcasting company) just started operations.. Paraphrasing what the taxi driver said to me as we passed by the crowded coffee shop at the foot of a block flats near my home... The world cup match between Australia and Japan was underway.
BUT IT'S STILL THE SAME! I exclaimed, pointing my finger at the crowd of beer drinking uncles as the taxi cruised by.
4 years ago, it was free, now we have to pay to watch. There was nothing I could do or think about as I was too pissed. So this is what we're doing to promote sports in Singapore? So this is going to help Goal 2010? (Singapore's plan to play in the next world cup... hahahahahahhahahhaha)
The day the Singapore National team lost my support was the day we pulled out of the Malaysia-Cup and formed the S-League. Gone were the days when I felt for my team, gone were they days of watching OUR team face off against the mighty teams from Malaysia at the Kallang stadium. Gone is the Kallang wave.
In my opinion, our local soccer scene took a backward step in the soccer evolutionary process when we left the M-cup. No one in our already tiny country cared for their neighbourhood teams as much as they used to care for their national team. No one gave a shit if the Sembawang Rangers won the Tampines Rovers.
One thing did kick off and improve though; the legalised soccer betting system.
SO... when a huge event like the World Cup happens once every four years, I look forward to the team spirit and camaraderie reminiscent of the Malaysia Cup days. Singapore is too shitty to qualify, so I give my support to the Asian teams. I give my support to the underdogs and the dark horses that give the big names a run for their money. I gave my support to Senegal who destroyed the defending French team 4 years ago in the opening match of the tournament. And this isn't because I bet on games.. No No.. One major misconception is that many people who watch soccer in Singapore do so because money is at stake, well, not for me at least.
And in the same spirit that the underdog teams embrace as they face uphill struggles all the time, we're saying NO to the TV companies who have decided to own the rights to broadcast "the beautiful game".
We'll find a way to get by.. take it off the airwaves from Indonesia, watch it over the Internet or visit the coffeeshop (as a last resort), we don't need to pay for something that should rightfully be 100% Free.Pass the Tiger and Chips