FAS express 'disappointment' over football flop at SEA Games
FAS admits football team's display a disappointment; cites three 'learning points'
It was a-two-and-a-half year project aimed at propelling the National Under-23 side into the final of the 28th South-east Asia (SEA) Games football tournament at the new 55,000-capacity National Stadium, to battle for what would have been a first gold medal in the history of the event.
Some $3.5 million was believed to have been spent on overseas training camps and various other support forthcoming from external agencies, with coach Aide Iskandar and his team travelling twice to Turkey.
In the end, though, the team fell flat, booted out at the first hurdle in front of their own fans here last month.
After staying tight-lipped following an executive committee meeting on Tuesday to review the SEA Games debacle, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) issued a statement yesterday expressing disappointment over the result.
The national football body said support for the mission was "sufficient" to meet the target.
But, the FAS admitted that the "application" of the resources and the processes was what led to the Republic's most disappointing result in what was otherwise a wildly successful 2015 Games.
It also expressed disappointment with key members of its staff for engaging "in a public spat".
While no names were mentioned, it was a clear reference to U-23 head coach Aide and national teams coach Bernd Stange, who spoke to The Straits Times and The New Paper, respectively, after the Games.
The New Paper understands that the FAS exco will be calling for the duo to make a public apology to each other.
Aide resigned immediately after his team lost their final group match against Indonesia on June 11.
The future of 67-year-old German Stange is also uncertain.
His contract is reportedly up in September and many believe the former coach of Belarus, Iraq and the former East Germany will not be offered a new one.
The FAS review called the various conclusions "key learning points".
The FAS said that efforts will be made to review three major areas to ensure they will be managed up front in future (see sidebar on right).
A major point will be the management of key players, after senior players Faris Ramli and Sahil Suhaimi were moved to the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League, instead of staying with S.League side the Courts Young Lions, essentially the Singapore U-23 side.
The move is believed to have led to mounting fatigue of the duo, disunity in the squad and ultimately poor performances by the two players last month.
It also pointed to the criticism of Aide's team playing long-ball football, and questions that have been raised in the football fraternity about the processes of the National Teams' department and the manner in which it has managed these issues.
The FAS said these "learning points" will be "useful to allow for all parties to improve in for future competitions."
The next SEA Games will be hosted in Kuala Lumpur, and TNP understands that the Singapore football team will be tasked to win a medal.
- Review team management’s decisions before and during the tournament, and tactical decisions;
- Review the team’s preparation, including the rest and training schedules;
- Review the involvement of parties, and the communication issues between management, technical and support staff.