Tatsuma Yoshida calls for teamwork to fight the coronavirus
National football coach Tatsuma Yoshida has urged Singaporeans to show teamwork and solidarity to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Singapore Premier League suspended and the Lions' World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia and Palestine scheduled for this week postponed, Yoshida penned an open letter and recorded a video message to local football fans on the Football Association of Singapore's Facebook page.
Said the 45-year-old Japanese: "I am very grateful for the support shown to me by Singaporeans and the trust you have given me to lead your national team. I could feel it in the stadiums during our home matches last year, in person when we meet and in the very kind comments online. I am proud and feel so happy.
"What you have shown, together with our players and backroom staff, is that when we unite with belief, we can overcome all challenges in front of us.
"Whether it is higher-ranked opponents on the field or the more serious problem facing all of us now, we can win this battle.
"Please give all your support to our healthcare workers, our doctors and nurses who are working so hard in this fight.
"They are our heroes. They are standing on the frontlines for us and we have to do the right thing for them. This is not difficult for us. Please follow all the instructions by the authorities...
"Now is the time for us to work together as a team."
Yoshida, who took over as Lions coach last May, also highlighted that he felt at home in Singapore.
He said: "I have been here for almost 10 months and I really feel at home here.
"I feel this way each time I return to Singapore, whether it is from our away matches, my scouting trips to watch our overseas players or from my recent holiday in Japan.
"Going through immigration control at Changi Airport always gives me the feeling that I am coming home."