Brunei's Diehard Football Fans

I am not a diehard football fan. The world does not end when my team doesn't win but I guess when you support teams that are not expected to win most of the time, any win is a bonus but losses are not painful. I supported a couple of fairly unsuccessful teams which I mentioned a couple of posting ago but I didn't realise the extent of English football support in Brunei currently.

When I was on the IM, I was asking one of my 20+ old junior colleagues to clarify a point he brought up the day before on the topic of football rivalry. He mentioned that and I quote 'people in Brunei have cliques based on which football team you support... thus the 'rivalry' that I was talking about.' It seemed that the various cliques tended to tease or pester the other side's supporters after every loss to the point that some people don't turn up for work or social functions beacuse they don't want to face 'the verbal torture' of certain colleagues. Case in point was the recent Liverpool's 2-0 victory over Chelsea or Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Manchester United two nights ago.

From what I gather the rival members teased each other - (taken from actual conversations) - talking about how crap the team is - how crap the players performed - how ugly some players are. They also call or send sms's to rival fans when their team loses too that some 'tutup telefon' because malas kan melayan the numerous amount of calls or messages.

Is this a male thing only or is it age specific? I am pretty sure it is among the 'younger' generation as I don't see it at my age group or this is maybe because because I don't include Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea or Arsenal among the teams I supported. There was one Liverpool supporter's comment on the shout box which said "...actually, when I was in Liverpool, the local taxi driver asked me why I supported Liverpool since we don't even come from the place? So I was stumped at the time..." Why then do we support the teams we supported? I am sure the sociologists out there would have the answer to that. I know it's some kind of tribal thing.

It's a pity we don't have the same amount of enthusiasm and fervour for our national team. I was told by BorgKingKong that in the sports section of the Guinness Book of World Records, Brunei holds the record for the fastest hattrick to be scored against it in any international competition. The record was created when Japan's Masashi Nakayama scored the hattrick against the Brunei team in the space of 3 minutes and 15 seconds. We lost 9-0 that day on February 2000 in the Asian Cup qualifying competition. To rub it in, the record before that had stood for 62 years when England's George Hall scored the three goals against Ireland in 3 minutes and 30 seconds. The only consolation to us seemed to be that Bhutan was obliterated 20-0 against Kuwait in that same competition. The Kuwait goalkeeper also managed to score in that game.

Imagine if there were football fan cliques at international level - I wouldn't have wanted to receive any sms or calls of reminders over that one!

Photo Credit: Brunei Darussalam Pearl of Borneo


Anonymous said…
I used to love soccer and I still do albeit on a lower scale of my priority list. I think we have something in common in that we are neither a Man U die-hard fan nor an avid supporter of Liverpool. I love both teams, though. In a nutshell, I simply love the best skillful team football has to offer, be they Brazil or Argentina or Italy or even England, for that matter. However, I just cannot understand the feverish idolistic support by our fellow Bruneians toward EPL teams! I mean for sports' sake, why can't we give that same kind of fervour and favour -- if not stronger support -- to our own soccer teams (although our national soccer squad is non-existent!)... My point is if only we all, as Bruneians United, put our hearts and minds behind our very own team, we can take on even the World Cup champions anytime, man!

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