Leadership key to future of S'pore football

The future of Singapore football lies not in futsal, as Mr Toh Cheng Seong suggests (Future of Singapore football lies in futsal; July 19), but in having a brave, resourceful and hands-on leadership, with vision and aspiration.

The inauguration of the S-League and the good performance in regional soccer tournaments at national and club levels before the deterioration began (especially when the focus switched to Malaysian football) shows how important leadership is in our footballing success.

A brave leadership would not have succumbed to the misplaced nationalism that led to the discarding of the scheme to naturalise talented foreign footballers to represent Singapore in international competitions.

What we need is not to throw away what has been proven to be a good formula but to take a serious look at what will work for Singapore, with our small population and diverse vested sporting interests.

Does the football fraternity have enough resources to justify a system of promotion and demotion for club football?

Is the current format of the S-League competitive enough to drive clubs and footballers to push for a higher standard of play to gain better league standings?

Is there sufficient motivation for clubs and footballers to want to do well in regional tournaments?

Are our players fit enough, relative to the average athletic standard at the Asian level, for example, compared to the Koreans?

I look forward to our football leadership showing their stuff.

Liew Eng Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2017, with the headline 'Leadership key to future of S'pore football'. Print Edition | Subscribe