Press Releases ● Jan 05, 2013
Warm reception for the Lions at the Istana
SINGAPORE, 5 JANUARY 2013: Following the historic triumph at the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, the Singapore National Football Team players and backroom staff members were treated to a warm reception by the President of Singapore, Dr Tony Tan held this afternoon at the Istana.
During the reception, Dr Tony Tan, President of Singapore paid special tribute to coach Radojko ‘Raddy’ Avramovic and presented the long-serving coach with a token of appreciation for his immense contributions to the national team for nearly a decade.
The Lions skipper Shahril Ishak was also on hand to receive a token of appreciation from the President on behalf of the national team.
Mr Zainudin Nordin, President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), had given an opening speech to kick-start the occasion. He thanked the President for hosting the Lions, saying: “We want to specially thank President Tony Tan and Mrs Tan for hosting the Lions and our staff at the Istana. Our Lions were galvanised in the presence of President Tan and Mrs Tan during our home games in the AFF Cup and we delighted to be here today at the Istana.” He also took the opportunity to congratulate the Lions for achieving a milestone by clinching the AFF Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time last month.
Dr Tony Tan also reserved his congratulatory message to the national team. He said, “This is an inspiration for Singapore; to show what we can do, and the talents we have. I would also like to congratulate the Ministry as well as the FAS for all the efforts they have in grooming our young talents and giving them chances.
“Sports have the ability to bind Singaporeans together, bring us all closer, to identify with Singapore. And what better way than to watch a football match‚” added Dr Tony Tan.
Mr Zainudin Nordin also mentioned in his speech that, ‚ÄúWe hope corporations will view sports, including football, as a key platform to drive brand awareness and equity. Their support will facilitate our ongoing journey to raising standards in all footballing aspects and also enable us to expand the community and outreach initiatives aimed at using sports as a strategy for nation building.‚Äù
Dr Tony Tan understands that there will be more tournaments ahead and mentioned that the national team should not be resting on their laurels. He said, ‚ÄúThis is a great start but we have to prepare for the future games. I hope we will win the games, because I think Singaporeans will need something to galvanise our people, like how the team received a tremendous welcome when they came back from Bangkok. That showed how much they had taken the victory to heart. It‚Äôs not only a victory for Team Singapore, but also a victory for Singapore.‚Äù
He added, ‚ÄúThis is wonderful because football stretches across all strata and societies. The game at Jalan Besar Stadium was watched by many people across the whole nation, even at the coffeeshops and community clubs, that showed how powerful football is.‚Äù
The FAS look forward to the continued support from the various stakeholders including clubs, sponsors, government agencies, media, fans, volunteers, players and parents, to work together to further promote and develop the game.