|“synthetic (imported) is higher than the natural (home grown)”|
So when Brazil coach Dunga threatened to prevent the likes of millionaire superstar Neymar from injuring himself on the patchy and sandy field of the $1 billion National Stadium, the finger pointing started in earnest. "The field here is not very good. Most of it is sand and not grass. There is more chance of getting injured on this field."
The $860,000 Desso Grassmaster system utilised by the pitch combines artificial fibres and natural grass, but Dunga observed that the “synthetic is higher than the natural”. The criticism was not new, our national football team had bitched about the pitch too, but who listens to them?
Surprisingly, in a rare act of nobility, Sports Hub Private Limited (SHPL) chief operating officer Oon Jin Teik took the self administered bullet, "With regard to the state of the pitch, yes we ought to be shot." Sport Singapore (SportSG) has blamed the sorry state of the playing field on a packed events calendar. In defence, Oon insisted local artiste Stephanie Sun's concert deserved to be the first to use it, and the Chinese Orchestral was more about community than commercial interests, rubbishing accusations of profits over sports. He should have stopped there. Instead, his candor ran over, confessing that they hosted the National Schools C Division rugby match even though it would damage the field:"... I would rather do that than damage the hearts of the 13- and 14-year-olds, who will be the users of our Sports Hub for a long time to come."
The speed of the remedial action is yet to be determined, but they better move fast, as the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup Group B matches are due to start in November. At least faster than the law is catching up with the synthetic tour guide from China. It must be coincident, the Yang Yin affair - specifically why an option to inform others when applying for an LPA was removed from the form last month - and now the Sports Hub flare up, has something to do with the general who is suspiciously quiet. Not the one who condemned heckling of special needs children as "Vile. Total and absolute disgrace." The other one.