In a heartfelt Instagram post yesterday, national footballer Baihakki Khaizan slammed the National Stadium and said that the Grand Old Dame has sold itself out.
Instead of becoming a sporting temple, he commented that the stadium's priorities have changed and it's now all about money. His most damning statement? He hashtagged it as a "#stadiumforconcerts".
Baihakki probably got first hand news that Jay Chou's Nov. 8 concert at the National Stadium will go on.
It was reported earlier today that the Taiwanese pop star's gig will go ahead as scheduled, despite pressure from the Asean Football Federation to clear the venue's schedule for 15 working days before the AFF Suzuki Cup kicks off.
And after being trampled by hordes of Jay Chou fans, the pitch will host an exhibition rugby match between the All Blacks and Asia Pacific Dragons on Nov. 15, 2014.
The AFF Suzuki Cup seems to be the lowest priority, despite Singapore being defending champions and the co-host of this year's tournament, along with Vietnam.
The state of the pitch is in the spotlight recently, with many media outlets commenting about its sandy state. The Straits Times reported today:
To stimulate the growth of its rye and blue grass seeds, $1.5 million worth of special lighting equipment was installed recently. The lights, hovering slightly over a metre above ground, are kept on through the night to act like sunlight.
What's the point of all these equipment when there's no proper time for the pitch to grow? Its punishing back-to-back schedule is definitely not helping.
And guess what Brazilian coach Dunga said? "The field here is not very good. Most of it is sand and not grass."
No wonder Baihakki is pissed. Here's his entire post:
Hey you, you look prettier now, and people just can't stop talking about you, can they? Yeah, it's you I'm talking about, Miss billion-dollar National Stadium. You're all fancy these days, with all the bells and whistles, but I remember the plain you, and they are wonderful memories. We won championships on the platform you provided, I became a Lion on your lawn. Hey, you made many legendary Lions who inspired the young me, and roused the nation. And not just Lions, C Kunalan, James Wong, Glory Barnabas, all names that shine form our sporting past shone on your lap. Let's not forget all the National Days we celebrated on your hallowed ground – a sacred battlefield for everyone that wore our flag. You're different now. And I'm not convinced by how you're behaving now. You don't seem to know your priorities anymore, and I don't see how new stars will be born in you again. You've sold out, haven't you? You're more about money, moving in a direction I don't understand. Honestly, I miss the old you. #nationalstadium #stadiumforconcerts #$$$
Top photo from here.