Yep, they’re getting fined over not shaking hands. Apparently, un-sportsmanlike behaviour costs $500 each.
Belgian winger Maxime Lestienne, South Korean forward Kim Shin-wook and Brazilian playmaker Diego Lopes from Lion City Sailors were fined for refusing to shake their opponents’ hands after a draw with the Young Lions.
Yes, This Is An Actual Rule
The Football Association of Singapore has confirmed that the post-match handshake is mandatory.
Under Article 31.1 of the regulations of Singapore Cup 2022, players from both teams are required to fulfil the post-match handshake at the centre circle.
“Any player who fails to do so shall be issued with a mandatory fine of $500.00.”
This is the first time this season that someone has committed this offence.
Expensive Sailors Were Frustrated at Draw
All three players are amongst the league’s highest-paid footballers. Lopes was the first million-dollar player in the Singapore Premier League in January 2021, when the Sailors paid S$2.89 million for him.
Kim’s three-year deal in November 2021 then pushed him to become the league’s highest-paid footballer, with a worth of more than S$3 million. Lestienne’s signing in February 2022 was also speculated to cross the million-dollar mark.
These expensive Lion City Sailors were understood to be frustrated at their performance after their draw with the Young Lions ended in a draw.
The Sailors, which were SPL’s runners-up, ended the league 49 points ahead of their opponent who finished bottom of eight. They probably expected to win this match based on their rankings, which could explain the frustration.
“They have all given their firm commitment to ensuring that there will be no repeat of such actions in the future. The club does not condone unsportsmanlike behaviour and will not contest the fines that have been meted out as punishment for the players’ lapses,” stated Badri Ghent, the Sailors’ sporting director.
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Another Draw Means An Early Exit from Singapore Cup
After draws with the Young Lions and Balestier Khalsa, the Sailors are at two points in Group A.
They’ll have to beat Albirex Niigata in their next match on Saturday to progress to the semi-finals. Albirex Niigata was the winner for the Singapore Premier League in October.
If either Balestier or the Young Lions win their ensuing match, a draw with the Albirex would mean an early exit for the Sailors from the Singapore Cup.
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