• Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

No hope for Young Lions at upcoming SEA Games and Singapore is among weakest teams, says 1998 Tiger Cup final goal-scorer R Sasikumar.

Apr 3, 2023

Former Lion R Sasikumar thinks that losing to Cambodia in the recent Merlion Cup at Jalan Besar is probably the final nail in Singapore’s football coffin.

And Singapore football fans will need to prepare that the Young Lions will flunk out at the upcoming Southeast Asian Games to be held in Cambodia. 

“Losing to Cambodia is probably the final nail in the coffin,” said Sasikumar in an interview with the Straits Times.

“Let’s not set ourselves up for disappointment (at the SEA Games) and manage expectations.

He also added that he was surprised that “the people who have been there doing the same job over the last 10 years are still involved today.”

He did not name anyone, but perhaps a good start would be to look at the current executive council of the Football Association of Singapore. 

Current acting president Bernard Tan, when appointed to the FAS council in 2014, said back then that he was keen to “revolutionise primary school football”, which obviously did not happen.

Added Sasikumar, “They had some part to play when these boys were 14 or 15. 

“Saying that this is a work of 10 years and doing the same thing over and over again is insanity.”

It was Sasikumar’s former Home United team-mate Philippe Aw, now the U22 coach, who said after Singapore lost to Hong Kong in the Merlion Cup that the current results are the result of what was not done for youth development over the last decade.

Sasikumar, an executive committee member of Singapore’s Unleash the Roar project to improve the state of football, gave a couple of hints as to how Singapore could probably pull off a few results at the upcoming SEA Games.

“In such a short space of time, the only thing left to do is to focus on our set pieces,” he shared with the Straits Times.

“Sometimes in tournaments, you can get by with luck but we are probably one of the weakest teams going into this tournament.”


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