During Tuesday`s (March 29) international friendly between Singapore and the Philippines, Filipino defender Diego Bardanca had a cheeky tug at Ikhsan Fandi’s private parts. It happened in the 10th-minute of the game as the Philippines were defending a corner. When Bardanca’s hand swooped down, Ikhsan instinctively reacted by taking a look at the referee. Seconds after the ‘handball’ incident, Singapore’s Safuwan Baharudin scored the Lions’ first goal. Both Ikhsan and Bardanca play professionally in the Thai League 1.
The too-close-for-comfort encounter between Bardanca and Ikhsan has gone viral on a TikTok video which was posted after the game. Since being posted, the video over 192,000 views at the time of writing.
@shahid_ayid80 Jahat eh raba raba “Bebird” Ikhsan Fandi… ???? #fyp #singapura #FAS ♬ original sound – Terawis Ayid Shahid
Bardanca was eventually sent off in the 39th minute, not for his ‘handball’ on Ikhsan, but for bookable offences against Amy Recha and Hariss Harun within three minutes. Singapore beat the 10-man Philippines 2-0 in the international friendly match.
Some TikTok users asked how Ikhsan could laugh and not feel violated at Bardanca’s ‘handling of the wrong balls’.
A couple of netizens saw the humour in Bardanca’s defense tactic and gave a tongue-in-cheek explanation for what happened.
Ikhsan himself got in on the fun by reposting memes of the ‘handball’ moment on his own Instagram after the incident.
It’s commonplace in soccer to see players being a bit physical during corner kicks, looking for an edge. Some go with little elbows or pushes and others go with jersey tugs. And then there is this.
Bardanca’s ‘handball’ reminded some local English soccer fans of Preston full-back Darnell Fisher’s 3 games suspension in November 2020 for grabbing an opponent’s genitals.
Darnell Fisher has been suspended for three games after grabbing the genitals of Sheffield Wednesday’s Callum Paterson during Preston’s game on Saturday.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) November 27, 2020