|By Bhas Kunju
A week ago, a photo of a red X marked over a newspaper article highlighting the large Filipino turnout at a Singapore-Philippines friendly match last year drew a huge response from both sets of fans.
Our article on the matter also generated further discussion for days, both on Goal.com and our partner site Yahoo Singapore.
With over 800 comments in total and both rational and derogatory comments in the mix, the issue clearly proved to be one that was of concern for fans of both nations.
The matter also seemed to fuel the desire of fans to turn up in support for their countrymen as the home allocation of the tickets for the second leg, intended for those holding a Singapore Identity Card, sold out in hours on Friday.
On Monday, December 10, the away allocation went on sale and was also snapped up before the end of sale with all 400 tickets sold.
For Arief Aditya, the founder of Singapore's leading fan group Lions all the Way (LATW), the situation did not come as a surprise but pointed out that the onus of supporting the national team still laid in the hands of Singaporeans.
"I think the matter is expected," said Arief on the heated fan discussions.
"But i hope that as Singaporeans, we will be gracious hosts at the end of the day.
"Just get your tickets and be in red and everything will be fine. Like how they can't stop us from supporting our team, we cannot stop them from supporting theirs. This is after all, football.
Arief also added: "As for the LATW, we will be doing what we do best, backing the team throughout the 90 minutes."