From 'seronok tengok kawan2 main bola' to 'saya dengan rendah diri memohon maaf'

It was a tweet that landed Johor Darul Ta’zim's (JDT) Syafiq Ahmad in "hot soup".

It also showed how social media can be a double-edged sword and how freedom of expression is viewed.

Let's look at Syafiq's tweet. It has been labelled as cryptic, even sarcastic as he has not been enjoying time on the field. It must be noted there were no personal attacks and no vulgarities spewed. 

Here's what JDT's owner posted on social media:

I'd generally agree with the response, minus the "bunga api" bit as it creates the presumption of normalising the lighting of "bunga api' at the stands. But that's how I view it.

And in return, Syafiq replied:

The one thing professional footballers should realise that they have a contract with their clubs and that the relationship is one of employer-employee. 

Perhaps there is a slight difference when it comes to other elite athletes who do not have such a relationship with their national sports associations, and thus are free to speak their minds.

Does this curb the freedom of expression? Then the organisation also has the freedom to express itself by denying any claims it feels is damaging. It works both ways.

A tragedy either makes a person stronger or crushes a person completely. Syafiq experienced a tragedy late last year where his child was killed in an accident. He owes it to his club for supporting him.

That aside, I'd view Syafiq's tweet as harmless. It should have been something for his coach to react. 

Also, he has been reminded that there are other options out there. I'm sure it's a 'lesson learnt moment' and for Syafiq to now prove he deserves a place on the pitch.


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