Football important for social development

Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim has raised eyebrows for putting forward football as a topic in a general election ("WP flashes red card at Govt for its interference in sports"; last Friday).

However, I find it most appropriate because it pertains to the social development of Singapore.

When we play the game, we learn about teamwork, and having a healthy body.

When we support a team even when the chips are down, we learn loyalty and to identify ourselves with the people around us.

Singapore is reaching a stage where we must learn to find unity among diversity.

When we play the game, we learn about teamwork, and having a healthy body. When we support a team even when the chips are down, we learn loyalty and to identify ourselves with the people around us.

This is why the S League is crucial.

Imagine what our children will learn when they see, say, 30,000 Geylang International fans in green and 30,000 Warriors fans in blue at the Singapore Cup final.

They are diverse, yet part of a Singapore tradition.

A father taking his child to watch neighbourhood football games, regardless of the result and where the team is on the league rankings, teaches the child about being supportive.

The Football Association of Singapore's leaders must be an experienced team with the best ideas to take the sport forward.

On the Government's part, it should focus on providing the infrastructure, like stadiums, and framework for our league to survive and succeed.

Tan Hwee Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Football important for social development'. Print Edition | Subscribe