SINGAPORE: Lions goalkeeper and China’s newest football hero, Hassan Sunny, has garnered even more praise online after announcing his intention to donate the money he received from Chinese fans.

On Thursday (Jun 13), Hassan told Lianhe Zaobao how he would use the funds, saying, “Of course, donate it. When you receive money that does not belong to you, you must donate it.”

Hassan expressed he was very happy to receive overwhelming support from Chinese fans.

He stated, “I am very happy to receive such recognition, but I am just doing my duty. In terms of results, this is not something to be proud of. But for me, it feels really great to receive such recognition from other countries.”

He also shared that his phone has been buzzing non-stop since the match between Singapore and Thailand ended, and China reached the final qualifying round for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

However, he expects the excitement to die soon and has taken the support as a compliment without getting carried away.

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When asked about the total amount he received from his Chinese fans, Hassan responded that it’s ‘difficult to monitor’ and refuted claims of receiving S$5.8 million in a single day.

He stated, “If I received such a huge amount, I would not have to train here. It is impossible, especially in Singapore, where everything is written in black and white.”

Moreover, he urged his fans to stop sending him money on his Instagram, pointing out that many had done so without purchasing from his food stall.

He also mentioned that online scammers have taken advantage of the situation and circulated fake QR codes for his stall.

Photo from hassansunny18/Hassan’s announcement on Instagram

Netizens praise Hassan for opting to donate funds

After news of Hassan’s decision to donate the funds spread online, netizens flooded him with praise, acknowledging that he not only put Singapore football on the map but also transformed his newfound fame into a meaningful donation drive.

One netizen on Facebook said, “This is what winners are made of. Losing a game but winning tremendous respect! Well done. The whole of SG is proud of you.”

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Another commented, “Hassan Sunny you are very honest to donate the money to Charity. Hope your food business will flourish.”

Others, meanwhile, said that Hassan should at least keep a portion of the money to expand his family business. They felt he deserved it since his heroic efforts helped attract Chinese tourists to Singapore and boosted the economy. 

Over on Reddit, one user mentioned that Hassan’s decision to donate the money was a ‘smart move’ as it could help him avoid getting tangled up in any accusations of wrongdoing, like corruption, down the line.

Another commented that Hassan has “conducted himself gracefully throughout this whole episode.”

Despite the positive tone surrounding Hassan’s actions, voices are questioning the motives of the Chinese fans. 

Some pointed out that the donations have stemmed not from genuine fan support but more from how the match between Singapore and Thailand benefited China.

They also questioned whether the support would have been the same if Singapore had faced China in a match and won.

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One netizen wondered, “Would they like him as much if SG met CN in a match and Hassan helped the SG team thrash CN?

If anything, this episode just shines a spotlight on how puerile the Chinese social media hivemind can behave.”

Read also: China nationals shower praise on Hassan Sunny, even send money to his food stall