FAS should stop reusing old tactics

I empathise with the football players aged 30 and above, many of whom are likely to quit football, or take a drastic pay cut just to remain in the game (Age quota for S-League is 'ridiculous', lament veteran players; ST Online, Dec 13).

The Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) decision to impose a quota on this group of players is an indication of its failure to see the wood for the trees.

It is worrying that the FAS deputy president insists that there will be no reversal in its policy when it seems clear that three key groups of stakeholders were not consulted in such a major decision: the clubs, the players and the fans.

What happened to the pre-election pledge of consultation?

It is convenient to blame the failure of the national team over the past two years on the number of senior players in the S-League, but is the imposition of a quota on this group of players really going to help the national cause?

Why did the FAS not insist that its national coach prioritise the rebuilding of a new national team for the next few years instead of imposing a rule that he can select only up to four players aged 30 and above?

Instead of adopting a simplistic and inward-looking approach, the FAS ought to think out of the box and implement new and viable strategies that will help clubs secure the most important resource amid the current state of football: dollars.

The FAS seems content to recycle old plans, such as limiting the number of senior players or possibly centralising the administration of clubs' jackpot operations.

By doing so, we are merely postponing the problems plaguing Singapore football for another year or two.

Many of today's FAS executive council members were in the previous team when the S-League tried to impose a similar quota on older players.

What exactly have we learnt since then? Are we now more capable of identifying the real problems in Singapore football and coming up with viable solutions?

Based on the latest developments, I do not think so.

Chan Siang Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2017, with the headline 'FAS should stop reusing old tactics'. Print Edition | Subscribe