The real questions about “football match’s lights went off at 9 pm”?


The “football match that stopped because the stadium lights went off at 9 pm” may have opened a can of worms?

I refer to the article “Football: MP Lee Bee Wah denies report that she instructed stadium’s lights to be turned off during match” (Straits Times, Apr 17).

It states that “MP Lee Bee Wah has denied claims in an online report that she gave instructions to the centre manager of Yishun Stadium to turn the facility’s floodlights off at 9pm on April 10.

Two of the stadium’s four floodlights were turned off at about the 69th minute of a Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Centre of Excellence (COE) Under-19 match between FAS’ U-19 side and Warriors FC. The match was abandoned thereafter.

“I did not give instructions for the match to be stopped. I am waiting for the report and statement from Sport Singapore (SportSG) before deciding on my next course of action,” Ms Lee, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, told The Straits Times on Monday (April 16).

The Warriors had posted a statement on Facebook on April 10 saying that the match in question had been “suspended in the 69th minute due to floodlight failure”.

Ms Lee referred to that in her own Facebook post just after 3pm on Monday.

She said: “An article by The Online Citizen (TOC) alleged that I had ordered the floodlights at Yishun Stadium to be turned off after residents had complained about the glare. This is not true.

“I do not even run Active SG or the stadium! Despite the Warriors FC post, TOC went ahead to post a falsehood. Unfortunately this is the danger of online falsehoods now.””
With so many alleged and apparently contradictory and different statements – in my view, perhaps the most important questions have not been asked.
… Do other stadiums also shut off their lights at 9 pm? Or is Yishun stadium the only one?
… If so, why is Yishun stadium unique in this regard?
… For how long has this been going on?
… Have there been complaints in the past about the lights from the residents?
… If so, to whom did they complain to?
… Was any action taken after the complaints?
The crux of the matter may not be so much as to who or why the lights were turned off that particular night (10 April), but rather how decisions (due process, etc) affecting the daily lives of Singaporeans are made in Singapore.
I wonder if after this incident – residents at other stadiums may also start complaining too, or people using the stadiums at night may also start to complain too!
Oh by the way – is it any wonder why football is arguably in the doldrums now?
Football fans and footballers – “what say you?”
Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.