Later News Aug 14

A fan in Singapore has made EPL headlines - but it's not for something to be proud of

Someone in Singapore has made it to the news in connection with the English Premier League (EPL), and it’s not good at all.


We’d sit up and look with excitement if a footballer from Singapore had a chance to play in the world’s most famous league, or if a billionaire in Singapore bought over one of the clubs, even if it were a modest one, such as Arsenal or Leeds United.


Not in this instance, no. This Singapore-based person reportedly sent “threatening and abusive messages” online – to Neal Maupay, who plays as a forward with Brighton and Hove Albion. 


So, we’ve made it on the world football map because someone within the shores of our tiny but great nation decided to be an online bully to a French footballer playing in the English Premiership – and that is not great.



What could Maupay have done to inspire such reprehensible behaviour from a football fan in Singapore? 


Was it his two late winning goals in two matches against Arsenal this season, each on either side of the coronavirus lockdown in the United Kingdom, both of which Brighton won by a score of 2-1? Was it for his challenge that led to the injury of Bernd Leno in the second of those matches? Was it for his clash with compatriot Matteo Guendouzi at the end of that match? Was it for remarks he made after that match, where he said that Arsenal players need to learn humility? Or was it for all of the above? 


Could it have been an Arsenal fan? A gambler frustrated that Maupay scored the winning goal in the fifth minute of time added? Or an illegal bookie who lost plenty of money as a result?


WATCH: Brighton's best goals against Arsenal


We don’t know. Details of the Singapore-based cyberbully have not been revealed, but whatever it is, his behaviour cannot be condoned. 


While we understand that football fans can be a passionate lot – yes, we, too, sometimes get siao because of it – there is no excuse for abusive and threatening messages anywhere on earth, never mind football.


The EPL set up a system of reporting in June, and this is the swift response it has promised, in protection of its players, managers and staff, as well as their family members, from threats and abuses.


“The abuse Neal received is wholly unacceptable. We responded immediately to seek justice on his behalf, which in this case meant identifying the perpetrator, tracking them to where they live, and then pursuing legal action accordingly,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters. He added that the Premier league would use all their resources to support victims, no matter where the offender is located. 


WATCH: Highlights of Maupay's first season at Brighton


Yes, they’ll come and get you – with legal action. And rightly so. It appears a police report has also been made.


So, while we allow ourselves to get totally crazy – siao – when it comes to football, we at Football Siao would like to implore you to keep it friendly. If you can’t find it in your heart to do that, at least, keep it clean. 


Or you could just take a few deep breaths, calm yourself down and relax - football's not worth getting in trouble for!