KUALA LUMPUR: Southeast Asian Games organizers urged fans to behave themselves on Tuesday after Malaysia football supporters caused anger by chanting “Singapore dogs” during a game.
The organizing committee called the incident, footage of which has been circulating online, “highly regrettable” and said it ran counter to the spirit of the 11-nation Games.
“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,” it added.
The chanting was recorded during Malaysia’s 2-1 Group A win over neighbouring Singapore in Shah Alam on August 16.
Malaysian fans have drawn flak for using the same insult before, including in 2012 when footage of chanting from a Suzuki Cup game also raised hackles in Singapore.
“We Singaporeans only lose the game to them, but they lose their morals and game spirits,” Rashidah Begum Shye posted on Facebook.
“Sports rivalry is good but when it descends into name calling, racist chants and unsporting behaviors, it’s bad,” wrote JJ Chong.