Let kids have a place to play football

Until two months ago, there was a patch of grass near where I reside in Redhill that was a hive of activity every evening.

Young residents living in apartment blocks around this playground would descend in droves for a game of football.

This fun and meaningful activity was the perfect way for these young boys of different races and schools to mingle.

Then, all of a sudden, the authorities erected a "No football" sign, and planted saplings to make sure that residents had no way of playing the sport.

I understand if football was banned in the void decks of Housing Board blocks, as the walls would be stained by the ball, but banning football on a grass patch is going too far.

Were residents consulted before such a drastic measure was taken?

Our children have nowhere to play regularly or informally.

We have to address this root problem in our efforts to improve the standard of football in Singapore.

Otherwise, Singapore's abysmal showing in football at the recent SEA Games, where the U-23 national team crashed out at the opening stage ("A football dream that imploded"; June 13), may become a norm.

Simon Owen Khoo Kim San

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2015, with the headline 'Let kids have a place to play football'. Print Edition | Subscribe