Singapore’s Young Lions will not take part at the Asian Games, but the women’s team will still be making their historic appearance at the event as planned.
In a statement sent to all media, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said that the decision was made after discussions between Sport Singapore (SportSG), the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and FAS.
“SportSG supports this decision and SNOC has no objections,” said the FAS in its statement, which comes at the back of Singapore’s disastrous showing at the recent Southeast Asian Games.
The FAS added in its statement that the decision was reached following the Post SEA Games Football Review 2023 which was released on 7 July.
The decision not to participate in the Asian Games is in line with one of the recommendations of the Review, which is for the Men’s National U-22 Team to focus on two priority tournaments – the biennial SEA Games and the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifying tournament.
The FAS added that in addition to the team’s recent performances, scheduling conflicts were taken into consideration as well.
The Asian Games falls outside the FIFA window and takes place in the same month as the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers.
“The past few weeks, the FAS has gone through a period of introspection, and we are right now in the midst of implementing the recommendations from the recent SEA Games review”, said Bernard Tan, Acting President of the FAS.
Added Yazeen Buhari, General Secretary of the FAS, “Learning from the review, we also considered the preparation time required to get the team ready for each tournament, vis-a-vis the players’ commitments to their clubs, schools, and national service.
“Given that the Asian Games comes off the back of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers, this makes participation particularly challenging.”
The move to pull the Young Lions out of the Asian Games in Hangzhou comes just three years after Singapore announced its Unleash The Roar project to help improve the state of the sport in Singapore.
In 2014, Singapore earned four points while at the Incheon Asian Games.
MAIN PHOTO: SNOC