The talking point of Singapore’s opening 2026 World Cup qualifying match against Korea Republic was not so much about the final result, or that the Lions lost 5-0 to the mighty South Koreans.
Inevitably, it had to be about an issue involving the use of social media and where players need to draw the line.
In about the 70th minute of the World Cup qualifying clash against Korea Republic, Singapore’s number 17 Irfan Fandi posted an Instagram story.
See post below.
It is unclear where he made the post from as he was replaced for the second 45 minutes after appearing to be limping towards the end of the first half.
Two TMSG readers sent us the story via an IG direct message and called this out, asking why was he even putting up an IG story when the match was still ongoing?
Did he not have respect for his team-mates?
Isn’t it common sense not to put up any social media post while the match was still ongoing, asked a TMSG reader.
A football official whom TMSG spoke to said that this was part of the “rotting culture” in Singapore’s national side of late, without going into details.
That may be generalising, but surely there must be something wrong when a player decides to use social media, when the match he was involved in, is still ongoing.
A coach who also spoke to TMSG on condition of anonymity said that any player who was involved in a match, should not be using the mobile phone to put up any kind of posts while the match was still ongoing.
“There must be a line to be drawn as this about professionalism and respect for your team-mates,” he said.
NOT AN UNEXPECTED RESULT AS KOREA REPUBLIC ARE ON A DIFFERENT FOOTBALL PLANET
The Lions held off the Korean side for as long they could, being camped in their half for most of the match.
They almost went into the breather with a clean sheet, but Cho Guesung, who plays in the Danish League with Midtjylland, struck just before the break for the Koreans to take a 1-0 lead into the dressing room.
The floodgates then opened in the second 45 after the restart with goals from Wolverhampton’s Hwang Hee Chan, crowd favourite Son Heungmin, Hwang Uijo and Lee Kangin.
Singapore’s Hassan Sunny was also partly responsible for keeping the score respectable for the Lions as without his antics, the result would have been very different for the Lions.
The defence, which was marshalled considerably well by Safuwan Baharudin (photo below) and Lionel Tan, also held up for as long as they could but the reality is that Korea Republic are on a different football planet.
Irfan however, has some answering to do.
The Lions will face off against Thailand on 21 November at the National Stadium.
MATCH PHOTOS: AFC