What a big, big shame. After over one billion thrown at the Sports Hub project, we’re now quibbling over how a ruby match should be cancelled in favour of a football game, even though they take place on separate days. In the latest, the rugby match between the Asia-Pacific Dragons and the Maori All-Blacks is likely to be cancelled or postponed, so that the Brazilian football team can take on Japan
It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it can catch rats — as the old Chinese saying goes. What’s the point of touting Singapore’s Sports Hub as “World Class”, if it can’t fulfil the basic needs of hosting the matches we need to host? The English say, “A rose by any other name…”
To add insult to injury for Singapore, out own Lions have had their training sessions and friendly games at the Sports Hub scrapped, in the lead-up to the Suzuki Cup Game against Thailand. And you wonder why our Lions can only get from bad to worse. Now, they don’t even have the advantage that comes with playing on a familiar home ground, because they can’t even train and familiarise themselves with their own turf!
The reason for all these shenanigans — the state of the grass needs to be preserved. When asked about the state of the pitch at the $1.3 billion Sports Hub, Sports Hub Pte Ltd CEO Oon Jin Teik blamed Singaporeans for being overly-demanding. He said, “Singaporeans wanted more sporting events, so we need a field to be rugged and durable enough for heavy programming.”
CEO Oon added that the Sports Hub is the only stadium on the world that faces such a challenge. He said, “No other stadium in the world has dealt with this combination of challenges.” So why is the grass not growing Oon? Because, as Oon says, ” There were unexpected problems with the facility’s micro-climate.”
All we can say is, good luck Sports Singapore — our government arm which overseas local sports. You’re tied down to Sports Hub Pte Ltd in a 25-year contract. And to Singapore sports fans, better luck next time.