This report appeared today in the Asiaone website. It is a translation of the Berita Harian report on Jan 6 in which Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin dropped the bombshell that he is disbanding the national team. You can access the story here
I feel it is important to read this story first before the other follow-up reports that appeared in today’s newspapers (ie The Straits Times, The New Paper and Today) because it gives the full flavour of why the FAS made such a decision (which has since divided public opinion).
Do yourselves a favour — give it a read first. And then you decide whether it is a wise or foolish decision by the FAS in the first place.
Yours in sport
Singapore Sports Fan
All players from the Lions will be dropped
(Asiaone News, 7 Jan 2011)
By Chairul Fahmy Hussaini and Hisham Hasim
All football players in the national team will be dropped in regards to their bad performance in 2010.
President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Mr Zainudin Nordin, said that the current standard of Singapore’s football is at a disappointing level.
In order to save the situation, changes will be made with focus given in developing young talents in group age of 14-17 years-old and expanding the talent of the current lineup.
The harsh reality and brave decision was revealed by Mr Zainudin in an exclusive interview with Berita Harian on Wednesday.
According to him, a span of five years is needed the national team to be successfully renewed.
For the upcoming years, Singaporeans will have to be prepared to face the possibility of not winning trophies.
“That is my message to all. We will give focus to young players, develop talents as young as 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and talents’ of these players cannot be expand overnight but requires a span of four to five years before they reach the level that is required of them.
“This is what’s going to happen. I hope when we announce the changes that will be carried out, citizens will understand that, these are for the benefit of the long term and not the short term.
“Maybe half of the citizens will not be happy but we will do our best in the SEA Games and the World Cup qualifiers although we are a team of new players.
“Although we will work hard, do not expect a miracle to happen overnight,” he said.
The SEA Games is scheduled to begin in November this year in Palembang, Indonesia while the selection of the eligibility of the World Cup is scheduled mid this year.
Mr Zainudin is firm that from all the players that will be dropped, only four players from the main 11 will be called back to be the “back-bone” of the national team that will be formed soon.
“When we proceed with the changes in the upcoming months, the national team coach, Radojko ‘Raddy’ Avramovic, will regard each player as a new player.
“All the current player will be dropped and Raddy will form a new team. When the new players are chosen, they will be based on merit,” he explained.
Last month, Raddy had given the media hints that from next month onwards, the national football team will have new faces.
This was followed by the disappointing performance during AFF Suzuki Cup in Hanoi, Vietnam recently.
Mr Zainudddin also mentioned that there were positive achievements last year, for example the success of the young football team in winning the bronze medal in the YOG.
“We will give full attention in developing our young talents,” he said.
Agreeing with the decisions, former national player, Malek Awab, 50, thinks that it was a bold move.
“It’s a good thing as it will give us a fresh start and new motivation in out national football team.” he added.
A similar response was voiced by a former national striker, Alexandre Duric, 41, said, “People are probably disappointed in the performance of the current team and FAS has to do something but it requires a long-term period to build a strong team.”
Translated by Muhammad Azman Bin Hamran from the original article first published in Berita Harian on Jan 6, 2011.