'Strong leadership needed for all NSAs, not just FAS'
It is vital for the new leadership team of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to be strong, competent and able to unite the local football fraternity.
That was the message from Parliamentary Secretary for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Baey Yam Keng, as the national football body gears up for its first democratic elections, before the end of next month.
Baey was responding to Nominated MP Ganesh Rajaram, who said in his speech in Parliament yesterday that passionate leadership is needed in the FAS if football is to shake off its current malaise.
But Mr Baey added that good leadership is required not only in FAS, but also across all National Sports Associations (NSAs).
"Mr Ganesh's point about the importance of strong and competent leadership applies not only to the FAS, but to all NSAs," he said.
"Our NSAs need leaders who can unite their fraternities around a sound strategic plan for the development of their sport. They must build organisational capabilities that ensure robust governance and effective execution of the strategic plans.
"They have to invest in and develop professional coaches and officials to help enthusiasts and athletes raise their game. Finally, they need to build a sustainable eco-system for the sport.
"With strong leadership, good governance, effective management and sound technical capabilities, the sport as a whole can then develop and grow to its full potential."
Mr Baey also said, in response to MP Faisal Manap's question about local football's strategic direction, that until the new leadership team is elected, that direction "remains uncertain".
He added, however, that the MCCY is looking forward to discussing with the new leadership about its plans for the sport, and how they align with Sport Singapore's Vision 2030.
In his speech, Mr Faisal also brought up how several parties have reportedly had to go through challenging negotiations with Sports Hub Private Limited (SHPL) for the use of the National Stadium, with rental costs the sticking point.
In response, Mr Baey pointed out that the 55,000-capacity venue has played host to major events such as the South-East Asia Games and Asean Para Games, the National Day Parade, HSBC Singapore Rugby 7s and StanChart Marathon since it opened less than three years ago.
He added: "The Sports Hub Community Play Days and Experience Sports sessions, which are free to the public, have also been organised to encourage more to come and enjoy the offerings at the Sports Hub.
"Nonetheless, more can and should be done by SHPL to enhance the vibrancy of the Sports Hub and improve the quality of its calendar of events and programming.
"These should include major international events, as well as those that the community can participate in.
"On the issue of event hiring costs, the operator SHPL has indicated that it will seek to keep third-party costs for events at the Sports Hub in check.
"We have communicated to SHPL that they should have transparent and defensible pricing policies that make them attractive as a venue to event organisers." - SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ