Yesterday I endured a lot. I endured a 30 minute train ride to Bukit Jalil while being squashed amongst hundreds of commuters. I endured being shoved & elbowed while making our way to the stadium from the train station. I endured the frustration of looking for a seat (& our missing friends) despite getting our tickets the legit way. For the first half, I endured sitting on the steps of the stadium’s aisles right next to a hyperactive boy who kept jostling me, shouting & blowing his air horn every couple of seconds. Yes, I endured quite a bit.
Why would I put myself through all of this? To support our National football team, Harimau Malaya, for the love of my country & to be amongst other folks who cared just as much.
Even though we were all squashed in the train, there were folks chanting Harimau Malaya slogans or cracking jokes to alleviate everyone's discomfort. Even though I got shoved & elbowed, folks were generally polite & apologised. Even though there were no seats, folks just made way for each other on the steps so that we can all watch the game. Even though the little boy was annoying, his parents were very nice & heck, I can’t blame him for his enthusiasm… I felt the same way!
It’s just a crying shame that the Singaporean players kept stalling the game with their fake injuries otherwise we could’ve had a good fighting chance. It’s awful that FIFA allows such unethical game-play to go scot-free which is something that wouldn’t have stood a chance in rugby, a game I am fond of & that my husband plays. (EDIT: Based on an anonymous comment, I want to clarify that I don't think Singapore should be penalised for yesterday's game - nasi sudah jadi bubur - I just think FIFA should take into consideration of changing the rules of the game to discontinue the use of faking injuries to stall time. It's just so unfair & frustrating for supporters. And yes, I'd be ashamed if Malaysia blatantly used the same tactics to win a game). Anyways, enough gripping…
Yesterday I sang Negaraku with over 85,000 people (minus a small patch of brave Singaporeans). Yesterday I stood shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm with my countrymen to cheer on our Harimau Malaya. Yesterday, I was proud that our boys played with integrity & showed good sportsmanship. Yesterday, today & always, I will love our Harimau Malaya.
She got us terrific seats at the grandstand which were a mere hop, skip & jump to the field.
Thanks a lot babe!