FAS will not renew Stange's Lions contract

Bernd Stange, with skipper Hariss Harun (left), speaking at a press conference, on Nov 16, 2015.
Bernd Stange, with skipper Hariss Harun (left), speaking at a press conference, on Nov 16, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is likely to have a new president in June and one of his first tasks could be deciding just who will next lead the national team.

The Straits Times understands that the decision about who should succeed Bernd Stange as head coach of the national team will be left to the new man in charge. The new president, who will take over from Zainudin Nordin, will be picked in an open election in June.

Stange's contract with the FAS ends next month and it is understood that neither side wishes to extend the contract for a third time. After an initial two-year deal, the German's services were extended, but he was only given short-term deals, first for six months and then a further three months.

The Straits Times reported last October that Stange's mediocre results with the Lions - he led the defending Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup champions to a group-stage exit in 2014 and struggled to make an impact in the ongoing World Cup qualifiers - meant he was never viewed as a long-term solution to the Lions' problems.

The parting of ways was confirmed at a meeting between Stange and the FAS senior management late last year, after which a global search began for his replacement.

It is understood that the FAS has a shortlist of more than 10 names, among them coaches who have taken charge of notable club sides and national teams in Europe. Also believed to be on the shortlist are former Lions greats Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy.

The list will be whittled down to a handful of names, which will be presented to the new president and his executive committee in June. An appointment is expected to be made in July, ahead of November's Suzuki Cup.

An FAS spokesman neither confirmed nor denied news of Stange's impending departure and would only say both parties had discussed the German's future and that an announcement will be made next month.

Stange will take charge of the Lions for their friendly match against Myanmar next Thursday (March 24) and Singapore's final World Cup qualifying match against Afghanistan on March 29.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2016, with the headline 'FAS will not renew Stange's Lions contract'. Print Edition | Subscribe