FAS must address poor football results

The national football team's poor performances over the last 18 months are of great concern.

The ultra-defensive playing style of the Lions has turned many Singaporeans off.

That our Lions are now 173 on the Fifa rankings - a record low and below almost all South-east Asian teams - should be of concern to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) council.

Yet, the FAS has been silent.

When will the association issue statements or review reports of the failed campaigns at this year's SEA Games and last year's AFF Suzuki Cup, which were supported by public funds?

Silence is not always golden. The FAS needs to demonstrate full accountability and transparency.

It is time for the FAS council and management to acknowledge their mistakes and shortcomings, and come up with an action plan.

As far as the national team is concerned, one way forward would be to appoint a well-respected national coach and task him with building a strong team capable of emulating Thailand, which reached the final round of the Asian qualifiers for the next World Cup.

This is the year the FAS celebrates its 125th anniversary. It is depressing that the national team has accomplished so little.

If we seriously believe in using sports to strengthen community bonds, then it is time the sports authorities do something tangible for our unofficial national sport.

Chan Siang Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2017, with the headline 'FAS must address poor football results'. Print Edition | Subscribe