Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Singapore can be in the next World Cup

In his 1998 National Day Rally speech, PM Goh was so inspired by the French victory in World Cup 1996 with a group of players led by Zinedine Zidane who is of Algerian extraction, said:

“Last year I told you Singapore would never have a chance in the World Cup, because the rules require all players to be citizens. But after watching the French victory, I have changed my mind. Maybe if we change our immigration criteria to bring in top football talent and make them citizens, then one day we too can get into the finals. In fact we intend to do just this, to bring in sports talent.”

Of course, by now in 2010, we all know that we did get a world championship, just that of a smaller ball called ping pong. Perhaps it is not as easy to attract Brazilians/French/Italians/Spanish/Argentinians soccer players into the country as it has been for the Chinese table tennis players. Perhaps we are not paying enough.

However not all hope is lost. It might actually be possible for Singapore to be participating in the next World Cup! And thanks to China again, for their great ideas!

In the World Cup 2010 held in South Africa this year, we have seen a match of Brazil vs North Korea. Hundreds of North Korean fans were in the stadium to cheer for their country, dressed in red and white, and waving their DPRK flags ever so proudly.

But hang on... since when are the North Koreans so filthy rich, and free? No they are not. And this explains all...

Chinese 'volunteer army' arrive to back North Korea
Source: Reuters Africa

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Hundreds of Chinese soccer fans, including artists and well known singers, have arrived in South Africa to lend their support to North Korea in their opening World Cup match against Brazil on Tuesday.

Dubbed the 'fans volunteer army' back home, many stayed in Pretoria overnight and will meet up with fellow Chinese supporters in Johannesburg to back isolated North Korea in their mouthwatering first game at Ellis Park (1830 GMT).

The North Korean sports ministry authorised a Chinese sports PR agency to sell tickets for the game as few North Koreans could afford the journey or receive visas to leave the country.

"When it comes to support in worldwide competitions, Chinese fans will stand for the Asia teams," Bi Fujian, one of the most popular television anchors in China, told Reuters TV before leaving for the trip.

"Not to mention that 60 years ago, China's military forces valiantly crossed the Yalu River to fight alongside the North Koreans against their enemies.

"Sixty years on, we cheer for their football team and hope they will go far."

I hope all the elites reading this post are still with me so far, because here comes my suggestion. The Lion team might still not be good enough for the next World Cup, hell they might not even be good enough for the next Asean games. But wait! The Lion fans can be in the next World Cup!

It might sound silly to send loads of Singaporeans to the World Cup 2014 in Brazil when the Lion team is not there, but the Lion fans can cheer for another country! Yes! They can pick one of the country's favorite ally, dressed up in their country colors, pretend to be their countrymen and cheer for them! I'm sure our allies do not mind more fans turning up to cheer for their teams! In that way, we are sending Singaporeans to the World Cup! Literally!

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