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SEA Games: Netizens continue to question Malaysia’s ‘sportsmanship’ after women’s hockey match with Singapore

SINGAPORE — Online uproar over an incident during a women’s hockey match between Malaysia and Singapore last Wednesday (Aug 23) has continued to stir after a Facebook post from the Malaysian side seemingly highlighted their player’s “sportsmanship” after the match.

Footage of the incident was captured online and widely shared. Photo: Screencap

Footage of the incident was captured online and widely shared. Photo: Screencap

SINGAPORE — Online uproar over an incident during a women’s hockey match between Malaysia and Singapore last Wednesday (Aug 23) has continued to stir after a Facebook post from the Malaysian side seemingly highlighted their player’s “sportsmanship” after the match.

During the round-robin match, Singapore’s Nur Syaheeza Muhd Jefri appeared to have been hit in the head with a hockey stick by a Malaysian player as she backpedalled to defend her goal.

Although Syaheeza appeared to recover quickly from the incident and carried on with the game, netizens expressed outrage following video replays online. A post by Facebook user Mo Halim for instance drew over 388,000 views and more than 7,000 shares — with mainly angry comments directed at the Malaysian player.

Three days after the incident, the Malaysian team put up a post on Facebook that showed the two players making up after the game.

“In the heat of a tense match, situations can turn to be uncontrollable, but when we calm down, and realised what we did is wrong, we say sorry (and) move on to be friends. Sportmanship is needed for the game,” said the post.

However, many netizens still took issue with the post, and questioned the claimed “sportsmanship”.

As of Tuesday (Aug 29), there were still people criticising the Malaysian player, and the Facebook post.

“Sportsmanship? More like she tried to hurt the other player and got forgiven for it,” wrote one netizen.

“Taking a picture together doesn’t make it okay that previously one player intentionally whacked the other with her hockey stick,” added another.

“You knew what you were doing when you swung that stick back high and leftwards and struck her. And you now stand beside her smiling and talking about sportsmanship,” another wrote.

And one netizen observed sarcastically: “Players should start giving heavy blows to their opponents and then take photo after match and apologise for ‘accident’.”

Singapore’s hockey team manager Tan Siu Hua told The Straits Times on Saturday that she was keen to move on from the incident, calling it “part of the game”.

She added that there had been no prior clashes between the players before the incident and that Syaheeza was unhurt.

Singapore lost the match 5-0. Malaysia eventually went on to win the gold medal in the competition.

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