The Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) chief Su Chun Wei’s post-Southeast Asian Games comments to the media to give the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) space to reflect and to learn is just mind-boggling and beggars belief.
As chief of the SSI, does Su not have the access to the data points and an entire red file marked “CRITICAL” over the current state of football in Singapore?
Here’s a brief rundown just in case he has short-term memory loss or seems just happy to gloss over the matter after Singapore earned 51 gold medals at the Cambodia SEA Games.
- Singapore’s Lions have not made the finals of the regional ASEAN Football Federation Championship since 2012.
- From 2012, Singapore only made the semi-finals once, at the end of 2021, when the post-pandemic event was held in Singapore.
- Singapore’s Young Lions have not made the knockout stages of the SEA Games since 2013.
- At the recent Games, the Young Lions finished at the bottom of Group with zero wins, and zero goals scored on their own.
- Despite an expanded Asian Cup, Singapore failed to make the grade and even teams like Hong Kong and Palestine, which Singapore used to beat regularly in the past, have qualified
- At the youth level, the results have also not been illuminating, and it has been ongoing for years, which explains the current state of the Young Lions in Cambodia
- The sorry and deplorable state of the Singapore Premier League
While the women’s game is only just beginning to develop, have a chat with the current players and even former players and it will be very clear what is their position on the current state of the game.
When were their allowances last reviewed?
Why is there a discrepancy over how much the national women’s players earn compared to the national men’s team, for training and overseas allowances?
The lack of investment into the sport on the whole, given that the leadership has failed to raise money on their own volition, to supplement the $100 million in funds it received from Sport Singapore over teh last five financial cycles has meant that the sport is being run on bare bones.
Who has caused this? It is the leadership of the FAS.
Not the players, the coaches, but the leadership and the decision makers.
It is as simple as that.
So what is causing the head of the SSI to be reticent about the state of the game in Singapore and to demand accountability?
Is it because two of Sport Singapore’s own – Razali Saad and Lim Tong Hai – are part of the FAS leadership team and Lim was an assistant chef de mission at the Cambodia SEA Games?
Is it also because Sport Singapore has now gotten in bed with the FAS through Unleash The Roar! and it is now improbable, and almost impossible to call a spade a spade?
Is it because the current Acting President Bernard Tan is also a former Brigadier-General who was on the same leadership team in 2017, which was elected to lead the FAS, alongside current Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong?
It is disappointing that the Government, through its SSI chief, is doing little to assuage the public’s consternation after the most recent football debacle.
Failures at every level which have manifested itself in so many ways over the last decade.
Singapore football fans, followers and key sponsors over the years should let their voices be heard.
For the FAS affiliates, start reading the FAS Constitution and start understanding what you can do to bring about the change for the sport.
There are ways to remove the current leadership legally, which is spelt out clearly through the Constitution.
For Su Chun Wei and the SSI, your post-event comments can only prove one thing.
You do not have a pulse on the matter, and you, like the FAS, need to be held accountable as well.
MAIN PHOTOS: CNA, STRAITS TIMES