S-League teams should follow AFC quota

I AGREE that the LionsXII's participation in the M-League was supposed to improve our cub team and prepare them for the SEA Games, and this has caused our S-League to suffer ("Local teams must look beyond Asean" by Mr Advin Kwok C. H.; Monday).

However, I don't agree that there should be five foreign players in the S-League teams, because Asian Football Confederation (AFC) rules allow each AFC team to field a maximum of four foreign players, one of whom must be from an Asian country.

I realise that our top S-League teams usually field most of their foreign players in S-League matches, and this deprives our local players of enough opportunity to play domestic matches.

But when it is supposed to play at the AFC Cup, the S-League underperforms, because it is forced to field local players to comply with the AFC rules.

Thus, the Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) revamp will need to include a 3+1 Asian foreign player quota in the S-League, in line with AFC requirements.

Based on the recent SEA Games, local fan support for Myanmar is huge. The FAS may want to set a rule that S-League teams must engage at least one good Asean player, as part of AFC requirements, to take advantage of these supporters.

While the FAS embarks on a revamp of the S-League to improve our local football talent, it also needs to make commercial sense.

The road to rebuilding football glory may be a long one, but it is a necessary one if we want to improve.

Ivan Goh Sian Lung

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