FAS ● Sep 23, 2023

New FAS President outlines three focus areas for Singapore football


Bernard Tan calls on football fraternity and the wider stakeholder community at large to band together in a collective bid to improve Singapore football


Newly elected FAS president, Mr. Bernard Tan delivered his speech at the 41st FAS Congress, September 2023. 



SINGAPORE, 23 SEPTEMBER 2023 – Newly elected President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Mr. Bernard Tan, delivered a comprehensive address at the 41st FAS Congress today which was held at Sheraton Towers, outlining three pivotal focus areas for the future of Singaporean football. Mr. Tan, in his speech, underscored the importance of these areas to foster growth, inclusivity, and sustainable development within the football ecosystem.



Private Sector Engagement and Sustainable Funding


President Tan emphasized the need for enhanced funding and deeper private sector involvement in Singaporean football. He stressed that long-term, sustainable funding is essential for the ecosystem’s growth and stability. Acknowledging current initiatives, such as the “Unleash the Roar” national project and collaborations with FIFA, Mr. Tan asserted that more substantial investments are required, especially for grassroots and youth football programs, age group teams, the Singapore Football League, and developmental courses. He also highlighted the importance of funding key positions within the FA, particularly quality head coaches, in order to effect substantial positive changes.



Recognizing that public funding alone is insufficient to meet these goals while acknowledging the finite nature of government spending, Mr. Tan emphasised the need to bridge the financial gap. He expressed the necessity to attract private investors and possibly create more privatized clubs in the Singapore Premier League. Furthermore, he called upon Singaporean corporations to view support for local football as a strategic branding opportunity, with the FAS committed to officially recognizing and celebrating corporate partners’ contributions to the sport in return.



Mr. Tan, General Secretary Yazeen Buhari and Council Members at the 41st FAS Congress, September 2023. 




Alignment of Interests and Goals Across the Ecosystem


Mr. Tan underscored the importance of greater alignment among stakeholders within the footballing ecosystem, including local clubs, academies, schools, and the FAS. He stressed that it was of vital importance for these stakeholders to collaborate and cooperate with each other, in order to ensure the availability of the best players for the Singapore National Teams, ultimately preparing them for international competitions. He urged all stakeholders to view Singapore’s successes and failures in football as collective achievements or setbacks, fostering a sense of unity as part of “Team Singapore.” Clubs, academies, and schools producing elite youth players were encouraged to consider their contributions to Singaporean football’s improvement as a badge of honour and doing their part for the national cause.



Tackling Infrastructure Challenges for Player Development


Addressing the infrastructure challenges hindering local football development, Mr. Tan highlighted the impending increase in activity under the “Unleash the Roar” national project. He pointed out that these activities would inevitably create higher demand for playing fields. While acknowledging the efforts of Sport Singapore and the FAS to optimize the use of limited football fields in Singapore, Mr. Tan emphasized the necessity of more playing spaces. He called upon wider stakeholders, particularly from the public sector, to actively participate in initiatives aimed at addressing this challenge.



In concluding his address, President Tan expressed his unwavering commitment to the growth and prosperity of Singaporean football. He urged all stakeholders, from private investors to corporations and schools, to join hands in realizing a shared vision of a vibrant and successful footballing ecosystem in Singapore.





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