26 April 2015

S-League to be scrapped?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SCRAPPING the Singapore League (S-League) was one of the proposals brought up in a “heated” meeting between Football Association of Singapore (FAS) management and S-League club chairmen on Monday night.
It was reported in The Straits Times yesterday that a “war of words” occurred in a meeting at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore held to review the league which is currently in its 20th season, but S-League CEO Lim Chin clarified in statement that “just strong views were exchanged”.
“We are in the preliminary stages of discussion and exploring possibilities. At this stage, it is too preliminary to go into details what form and shape the S-League will take in future,” he said in a FAS statement.
The S-League club chairmen said that LionsXII (Singapore team playing in the Malaysian Super League) and the Young Lions (Singapore national under-23 football team) are depriving the S-League clubs of fielding top local players, and therefore killing the league.
Three proposals were put forward, with the one most favoured by the club chairmen being to disband the LionsXII and the Young Lions to distribute its national players back to the S-League.
Another proposal was to scrap the S-League, focus on three to four Singaporean teams and get them to compete in regional competitions such as the Malaysian Super League and the proposed ASEAN Super League.
The other option was for the S-League to continue in its current form, but with younger players.
“We are exploring options to make the S-League better and on the whole, Singapore football,” said Lim in the FAS statement.
“In discussions, there will always be differences in views and opinions when it comes to issues and ideas, and that makes for a healthy and robust debate.
“At the end of the day, everyone involved in this review, including the S-League chairmen, only want the best for Singapore football.
“Over the years, a number of platforms have been set up to try to help realise our common aim of producing a strong national team.
“The S-League is one. So too are the Young Lions and the LionsXII. The S-League remains united with the FAS in finding the best way forward for the S-League.
“The three proposals that were reported in the report were just suggestions that were being bounced around for debate.
“Moving on, we will also approach all our other stakeholders and interest groups for their feedback before putting forth a proposal to the relevant agencies for their continued support.
“The ST report indicated that I would be supportive of some of the ideas discussed. I like to state that, like everyone else, my wish is to see a strong and vibrant S-League, and to see it help the FAS to achieve its goal of producing a strong and successful national team.
“I remain committed to that goal to working together with everyone to achieve it,” concluded the statement.
It was also stated in The Straits Times report that Singapore national coach Bernd Stange doesn’t attend the S-League matches, a statement Lim rebutted.
“It is not true that Bernd Stange, the national coach does not attend S-League matches,” said Lim.
“I wish to state categorically that Bernd is a regular face at S-League and other local matches,” he added.
Balestier Khalsa FC, S Thavaneson, was present in the meeting and reiterated that only strong views were put forward.
“There was no “war of words” that night. There were just strong views put forward by all the S-League chairmen and FAS officials,” said Thavaneson.
“We may have differing views which is common in most discussions but we stand united in wanting Singapore football to succeed,” he added.

The Brunei Times

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