Organisers slam 'Singapore dogs' football chant

SEA Games organisers yesterday urged fans to behave themselves after Malaysia football supporters caused anger by chanting "Singapore dogs" during the match between Malaysia and Singapore last Wednesday.

The organising committee called the incident, footage of which has been circulating online, "highly regrettable" and said it ran counter to the spirit of the 11-nation Games.

The home supporters came under even more scrutiny later in the day when police revealed that two Myanmar fans have been beaten up at the Malaysia-Myanmar match on Monday.

The Myanmar fans were punched and kicked in the face and body outside Shah Alam Stadium, after Malaysia had beaten their opponents 3-1 to reach the regional competition's semi-finals.

One of the fans was admitted to hospital and another left after treatment, police said, adding that a hunt for the attackers was under way.

The incident came to light as SEA Games organisers condemned Malaysian football fans for their chants during a Malaysia-Singapore fixture last Wednesday, which ended 2-1 in the hosts' favour.

"Any incident that is contradictory to this spirit of togetherness and unity, especially hurling of insults at other participating nations in whatever form, is highly regrettable," the committee said in a statement.

"Fans are urged to refrain from chanting offensive religious or racial slurs at all times," it added.

Malaysian Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said: "Things like that should not take place in the South-east Asian Games. We should play and support with honour and dignity."

Malaysian fans have drawn flak for using the same insult before, including in 2012 when footage of chanting from a Suzuki Cup game also raised hackles in Singapore.

"We Singaporeans only lose the game to them, but they lose their morals and game spirits," Rashidah Begum Shye posted on Facebook.

"Sports rivalry is good but when it descends into name calling, racist chants and unsporting behaviours, it's bad," wrote JJ Chong. - AFP

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