The report that the Football Association of Singapore is finally cracking down on the longstanding problem of smoking within the professional ranks is a critical revelation (Smoking, a real issue: Fandi; Feb 22).
Smoking must be eradicated at the performance level.
Mollycoddling the offenders by offering them a programme to quit the habit, or simply a fine or suspension will not put an end to the habit. The lesson should be that either they kick the habit or be booted.
Athletes must be in peak condition when they are representing our country in international competitions.
If smoking is an issue, how can we expect them to be in peak condition when they play in international tournaments?
One of the main negative effects of smoking on athletic performance is a decrease in lung function.
Professional athletes, footballers included, need to be at the pinnacle of health in order to excel in their sport and smoking will not work in their favour as it causes a decrease in stamina and their muscles get inadequate oxygen, making the players easily fatigued.
Professional footballers are supposed to be role models for the youth of the world and smoking is not something that a role model should indulge in.