Commentary: Postponed football games are a missed opportunity to honour Queen Elizabeth II and Lim Kia Tong

Commentary: Postponed football games are a missed opportunity to honour Queen Elizabeth II and Lim Kia Tong

WOULD THEY HAVE WANTED GAMES POSTPONED?

And there is also the question, even if the answer can only be guessed at, of whether the queen or Mr Lim would have wanted the games to be postponed on their behalf. Indeed, the British head of state was a well-known sporting fan and is thought to personify the phrase “keep calm and carry on”.

Mr Lim may not have been a household name, but fans of Singapore football would know of his passion for the beautiful game.

FIFA chief Gianni Infantino said that the world of football had lost “a great friend” and the Singapore flag was flown at half-mast at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters as a mark of respect.

It’s not a leap to imagine that Mr Lim may well have wanted the Singapore Premier League programme to go ahead as planned. Fans could have paid tribute to him and enjoyed the sport that he and they all loved. 

Football is a community event and one of the most regular and popular ways for large numbers of people to gather together. Not allowing fans to attend just means they will simply go and do something else.

It’s hard to see how watching TV, going shopping or going to the pub is a greater show of respect than watching or playing football.

Everyone mourns in different ways. Let football fans do so together if we want.

John Duerden is a Seoul-based writer who covers the region’s sporting scene. He is the author of four books including Lions & Tigers – The History of Football in Singapore and Malaysia (2017).

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