The Football Association of Malaysia expressed regret for the “Singapore itu anjing” (meaning Singapore, those dogs) chants that the nation’s biggest soccer supporter group, Ultras Malaya, chanted during the 22nd August SEA Games Soccer match between Singapore and Malaysia which Malaysia won 2-1.
The Association’s secretary-general Hamidin Mohd Amin said that Ultras Malaya had pledged to not scoff at their opponents in future. The assurance was given by representatives of Ultras Malaya at a meeting which was arranged after the association received a formal complaint on the matter.
Hamidin Mohd Amin said in a media statement that the association regrets what happened, especially given the friendship among ASEAN countries, and that Ultras Malaya has assured that such chants will not be spread during the rest of the SEA Games, which will conclude on 30 August.
He added that the Association appreciates the strong support by Ultras Malaya which boosts the spirits of soccer players and transforms the atmosphere of the stadium.
The Malaysia Organising Committee of the SEA Games, which is held at Kuala Lumpur this year, said in a statement on 22 August that the Games is a sporting event which is “based on a strong spirit of togetherness and sportsmanship.”
“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.”
“Fans are urged to refrain from chanting offensive religious or racial slurs at all times.”
Despite such pleas, two Myanmar football fans were reportedly assaulted following Malaysia’s 3-1 win over Myanmar at the Shah Alam Stadium. Both were sent to hospital following the incident.
The derogatory “Singapore itu anjing” slogan has been around since the early 2010s and was most notably chanted five years ago in 2012 during the Suzuki cup by aggressive Ultras Malaya fans.
The insults have attracted widespread attention online:
Get the latest news, opinions and commentaries. Available on Android