The Straits Times
Published on Jan 24, 2013

Ethnicity not linked to Lions' past success


I AM puzzled by Mr Michael Ang York Poon's suggestion that a more ethnically diverse national football team would do better on the Asian stage ("Why S'pore football fails to score on Asian stage"; last Saturday).

Does he not realise that competency, talent and performance know no boundaries and should never be based on ethnic background?

Yes, the Lions attained much greater heights in the past, when it had a more diverse team make-up. But is this a valid measurement of the Lions' successes? Perhaps the far more passionate fan support in the past played a part too.

It should be noted that teams in the United States' National Basketball Association are mainly made up of players of African American descent. This does not hurt the teams' performances. In fact, the American basketball team bagged the gold medal at last year's Olympics.

A team's ethnic profile is neither a valid indicator of talent nor a valid reason for showing more or less support for the team.

Let us not forget that we are Singaporeans, and stand by our national team regardless of any differences.

Shafik Ahmad Mohamed Yusope