S'pore football can learn from Iceland, S. Korea

I hope the management of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) as well as our coaches and players are watching what is happening at the World Cup.

Iceland and South Korea may have bowed out of the tournament, but they have brought pride and honour to their countries, and both nations need to be saluted.

Iceland, with its population of 334,000, is only slightly larger than Ang Mo Kio GRC.

They did not complain about a lack of talent pool, a lack of professional coaches and players or the brutal winter. They just made do with what they had, trained and played hard to qualify for the World Cup.

South Korea created one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history by knocking out giants Germany on Wednesday.

They could have taken it easy as they were already out of contention.

They could have given excuses - that some of their best players had been called up for army duties. Instead, they chose to give their all.

In contrast, FAS as well as our coaches and players have nothing but excuses for falling in the Fifa ranking and not being able to beat minnows like Myanmar.

We have blamed it on the changing nature of the game, the improvements other teams have made, the Fifa schedule - the list goes on. We never take responsibility.

There is much that Singapore can learn from Iceland and South Korea.

The difference between them and us is their winning attitude. Winners take pride in what they do and train hard for success, while losers are constantly looking for excuses.

I hope Sport Singapore will cut its funding for football in Singapore until the FAS starts showing significant improvements. It is time to stop throwing good money at a losing team with a poor attitude.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore football can learn from Iceland, S. Korea'. Subscribe