ORGANISERS of the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games have urged supporters to behave themselves after some Malaysian fans caused anger by chanting “Singapore dogs” during a group game.
The SEA Games organising committee referred to the incident, footage of which has circulated online, as “highly regrettable”.
It said the incident was against the spirit of the 11-nation Games, which are taking place in Kuala Lumpur until August 30.
“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,” the committee said in a statement.
“Fans are urged to refrain from chanting offensive religious or racial slurs at all times.”
The chanting was recorded during Malaysia’s 2-1 Group A win over neighbours Singapore at Shah Alam Stadium last Wednesday.
Malaysia trailed 1-0 until scoring two second-half goals to win the game. Singapore have since been eliminated while Malaysia have reached the semi-finals.
Malaysians singing "Singapore you're dogs" in a formal regional sport event involving ASEAN countries is sad, sad excuse of a Malay nation.
— Cicik Putra Perkasa (@cicikperkasa) August 21, 2017
AFP reported that Malaysian fans have been criticised in the past for using the same insult, notably in 2012, when footage of chanting from a Suzuki Cup game angered Singaporeans.
On Twitter, the user @cicikperkasa wrote: “Malaysians singing “Singapore you’re dogs” in a formal regional sport event involving ASEAN countries is sad, sad excuse of a Malay nation.”
There was further condemnation of the chant across various social media platforms, with many fans eager to ensure the competition remains fierce but good natured.