FAS, clubs need to actively whip up interest in local football

News on the newly branded Singapore Premier League has been relatively low-key, considering it is the country's only professional league.

Some opening matches of the first Premier League season received write-ups of a few paragraphs, and did not get the publicity it warrants (Young Lions off to a flyer to match 2017's single win; April 5).

Is this because the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the clubs are not doing enough to get more publicity?

Renaming the S-League the Premier League, and revamping the composition of club teams are not changes that will automatically generate interest or attract fans.

A constant stream of news from the FAS and clubs on ongoing matters, pre-match and post-match, commentaries by club officials, players and fans, the bright "potentials", the heroes and villains of the piece, the highs and the lows, needs to be fed to the media and published if interest in Singapore football has to pick up again.

In the 60s and 70s, news of the national team and club football commanded pages and pages of coverage in the local newspapers and the attention of other media as well.

Reporters wrote colourful "stories" full of passion and drama, which whipped up interest and persuaded many people to attend league and international matches.

Crowd sizes in the National Stadium often ranged between 20,000 and 60,000.

Singapore football is the only sport that can rally thousands of Singaporeans to support our nation.

Hopefully, Sport Singapore, the Football Association of Singapore, the clubs and media will consider it a national priority and work in unison to bring the Kallang Roar back to Singapore football.

George Pasqual

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'FAS, clubs need to actively whip up interest in local football'. Print Edition | Subscribe