SINGAPORE – Security was tight in and around the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday, June 1, several hours before the start of the match between host Singapore and the Philippines as Group A action in the 28th Southeast Asian Games football championship kicked off here.
Police closed down some of the roads surrounding the 6,800-capacity facility owned by the Singapore Sports Council and located in the Kallang area in the southeastern portion of the progressive city-state celebrating its golden jubilee as a nation.
Though the crowd is decidedly in favor of the home team, Philippine fans were appeased with the tunes of Manny Pacquiao's “Lalaban Ako Para Sa Pilipino” and Apl de ap's “Bebot” anthem.
Accredited media, SEAG officials and athletes had to pass through a security gauntlet before getting inside the arena, beginning with a check of their ID cards embedded with a tiny laser-coded insignia with a scanner.
If their IDs were not reflected in the Singapore SEA Games database, a reporter, photographer or videographer would have to be gently but firmly turned away.
Just like an airport check, they also had to empty their clothes of all metallic objects and put them through an X-ray machine.
To make doubly sure, the Singapore security people then would subject the accredited people to another body scan before they were rewarded finally in entering the stadium.