Football's poor show everything to do with people in it

Lack of motivation should never be a reason for a national team's poor performance, regardless of the sport (Limping Lions not good enough; Nov 15).

If the privilege of playing for their country, in front of their families and loved ones is not a strong enough motivator for the national team players, perhaps they should quit the team altogether.

Our national team's footballers enjoy perks which sportsmen from other sports do not, such as match bonuses and overseas daily allowances.

It would be absurd for anyone to suggest then that monetary rewards could give players the push that is needed.

The root cause of the team's poor performance has to do with the people involved - everyone from the coaches to the players.

They do not seem to have the desire and capabilities to compete with our neighbours such as Thailand and Vietnam - not to mention second-tier Asian teams like Bahrain.

Injuries and the lack of strikers are merely excuses that reflect the weak and unprofessional mentality of the Football Association of Singapore and its national coach (Lions go out on a whimper; Nov 15) and these do little to inspire young emerging talent.

Questions must also be raised about the appointment of backroom staff.

For instance, what are the qualifications of the team manager and is he capable of managing players with different backgrounds?

What is the role of the fitness coach and why is it that our players are always unable to last the full match?

Away from the field, it's a shame to see advertising boards at the National Stadium bearing the properties of FAS such as women's football and national football league instead of logos of sponsors.

This is a clear sign that the FAS has failed to market its products well.

The failures on and off the pitch certainly warrant an independent inquiry into the pathetic state of football today.

It's ironic that this year marks the 125th anniversary of FAS, the oldest football association in Asia.

Chan Siang Ming

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2017, with the headline 'Football's poor show everything to do with people in it'. Print Edition | Subscribe