Give the Lions more realistic goals

The Lions have failed to make it past the group stages of the Asean Football Federation Championship for the last couple of tournaments, including one on home turf in 2014.

They have not won a single gold medal in the SEA Games, and have not qualified for the Asian Cup, other than as host in 1984.

For the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to envision our national team regularly qualifying for the Asian Cup finals in the foreseeable future is to build castles in the air (A 4-4-2 system for change; April 1).

Local football is suffering from a dearth of highly disciplined and technically astute players.

The easy access to live telecasts of overseas matches has only widened the gulf between world-class teams and our clubs in the minds of fans, resulting in record low attendances at S-League matches.

Even some of our national players could not help being star-struck during the recent friendly match with Argentina here.

There were reports that a couple of players initiated jersey swops with their opponents at half time (Visitors outclass Lions; June 14).

If the FAS and its coaches cannot instil basic national pride in its own players, how can we expect any ground-breaking achievements from them in the future?

Let us not put the cart before the horse, and focus on the more realistic target of winning our first SEA Games gold medal in the next decade.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2017, with the headline 'Give the Lions more realistic goals'. Print Edition | Subscribe