Time to bring back the Kallang Roar!
S'pore football fans want stadium to be roaring this evening when national team face Japan
The Kallang Roar* has been quiet for far too long.
A group of local fans wants to bring it back this evening when Singapore host Asian powerhouse Japan in a World Cup/Asian Cup Group E qualifying match at the National Stadium.
Called Singamania, the group comprises several LionsXII fan groups such as Exclusinga, Forza Singa, GMK and KGH as well as those of clubs in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
Mr Norman Abdul Samat, one of Exclusinga's founders, said the Singamania movement was formed just before Singapore's triumphant AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in 2012, when the Lions won a record fourth Asean title.
The 38-year-old customer care officer told The New Paper yesterday that his wish is to see the whole National Stadium turn into a sea of red, singing as one in support of the Lions.
"What I hope to see one day is a National Stadium full of fans with unified support and the desire to see our team win against any opponent," he said.
"We don't want people just sitting quietly with crackers and bandung in their hands.
"In the 1990s, the Kallang Roar was our one voice. Now we can have that one voice through a song."
Singamania, which will be seated near the East side of the stadium, hopes to lead local fans in chanting the song "Satu Nada" (One Voice) at various points throughout the match. (See report on S6 in Sports pullout.)
Adzrul Azizi, a 17-year-old student who formed the fan group Forza Singa last year, is hoping for home support to inspire the Lions to another shock result against Japan.
In the reverse fixture in June, Singapore held their higher-ranked opponents to a scoreless draw in Saitama, a result that made international headlines.
"The best thing would be to see the whole stadium singing, twirling their scarves, dancing, chanting with us, all at once. That can intimidate any opponent," said Adzrul.
"The Ultras Nippon (Japanese die-hard fans) will be here. We have to roar and make sure we are louder than them."
Mr Norman added: "If all the Singapore fans can sing as one, it will be very special.
"We want to bring the fear factor back to Kallang. We are the home side. We should be making the most noise.
"We want to make it really good and show that the Kallang Roar has returned. It's about time."
Those who turn up at the National Stadium this evening might also spot a pirate in the stands.
That would be veteran tour operator Akbar Hashim, who has been organising trips overseas to support the national team and the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League since the 1990s.
The 54-year-old, a die-hard fan of local football for decades, spent $30,000 producing shirts for fellow fans in the 1990s, one of which hangs proudly in the Singapore Sports Museum at the Sports Hub.
Mr Akbar, who has worn colourful costumes to support the Lions, said he would be in his get-up, which has become something of a trademark.
"I thought of wearing my Captain America costume since Japan have their Ultraman," he said with a chuckle.
"But that would mean I would be in blue, the colour of their jerseys. So I decided to wear my usual red shirt and my pirate's hat.
The term "Kallang Roar" was coined by former TNP writer Jeffrey Low on April 18, 1976, after Singapore beat Penang 5-4 in a Malaysia Cup match that saw 60,000 packed into the 55,000-capacity National Stadium. It has gone on to be synonymous with Singapore football over the decades.