The Straits Times
Published on Dec 27, 2012

Lions must aim higher


I CONGRATULATE the Lions for winning the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup ("Lions make history"; Sunday). While the feeling of winning is great and we should celebrate the victory, let us not forget something fundamentally more important.

The challenge was for the Lions to qualify for the World Cup. Winning the Suzuki Cup, while good, is not quite the same thing. So, let us not get carried away with the self-congratulation. Each time the Singapore Lions score a major win, they tend to get complacent.

Nearly 15 years have passed since the World Cup challenge, and the standard of Singapore football has deteriorated instead of improving internationally.

Despite spending millions of dollars on football annually, we seem able to beat teams in Asean only. We are still no match for the Japanese or Koreans. Even the Chinese and Hong Kongers are beating us.

The Singapore Lions need to start aiming higher. If Singapore's football scene is to improve, then things must change. And, it has to start with the leadership and management in the Football Association of Singapore.

Patrick Tan