SINGAPORE — Former Singapore national defender Baihakki Khaizan has apologised after televised footages showed him laughing moments after Singapore were beaten 1-4 by Malaysia in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup on Tuesday (3 January).
The 38-year-old, who had helped the Lions clinch the AFF Cup on three occasions (2004, 2007 and 2012), was seated in the VIP section of Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur during the Group B match between the two arch-rivals.
When the final whistle blew, cameras cut to him smiling and laughing for a couple of seconds, before returning to scenes on the football pitch as Singapore were eliminated from the biennial competition.
It led to fans voicing their unhappiness online at Baihakki, who had retired in February 2022 and is now working as an ambassador and the lead of special projects with the Football Association of Singapore.
On Wednesday, Baihakki put up a post on his Facebook page apologising for the incident.
He wrote in the post, "I saw the footage of me laughing after full time. My apologies... I was unlucky to be caught in a non-football related joke with the Malaysian fans during the photo session.
"How I wish the camera showed the time I smashed the bottle when the goals went in. However, I am sorry for the misunderstanding.
"The boys did their best, but the Malaysians wanted it more and showed hunger for victory."
Second apology in Instagram video
Baihakki, whose 18-year football career saw him play across the region from Singapore to Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia, posted a second apology in a one-minute video on Instagram.
He said in the video, "I apologise to those who misinterpreted (my actions). It was not meant to be laughing at anybody.
“I want to be the bigger person here, to actually apologise to all of you and hopefully we are all on the same page.
"I think (I am) just unlucky, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But that’s alright, it’s okay, as long as we know, that these are mistakes that hopefully we can avoid next time.”
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