Fifa requires a five-year residency period for the naturalisation of football players.
Albirex Niigata is a good model of how naturalisation could be done here. The club signs young, aspiring Japanese players, who come to Singapore for one or two years. Those who do well may then get signed by local clubs, keeping the players here long enough to satisfy the naturalisation requirement.
Of the 24 foreign players set to feature for local clubs in the upcoming SPL season, 10 are Japanese. Nine of them are former Albirex players.
As no Japanese player has been naturalised so far, the Football Association of Singapore should look into the possibility of getting other foreign clubs to set up a feeder club here.
We need to widen our foreign talent pool for naturalisation if we want to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the World Cup.