FAS ● Feb 05, 2022
Baihakki Khaizan embarks on football administration journey with new role at FAS
Lions legend, 38, to spearhead special projects and work with stakeholders in post-playing career
Baihakki celebrates after scoring against Thailand in the first leg of the AFF Championship 2012 final, 19 December 2012 (Photo: FAS/Shirly Hamra)
SINGAPORE, 5 FEBRUARY 2022 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is pleased to announce that former Singapore international Baihakki Khaizan, marking his first foray into football administration, will join the organisation effective 15 February 2022.
The Lions legend, who announced his retirement from his playing career earlier this week, will take up the role of Lead (Special Projects) and Ambassador at the FAS, reporting directly to the FAS General Secretary (GS) Yazeen Buhari.
In his new role, Baihakki will spearhead projects that aim to further elevate football in Singapore that entail partnerships and collaborations with various stakeholders. He will also be involved in Unleash the Roar! (UTR!) initiatives, the national football project which is designed to unite Singaporeans through sport by growing football excellence and creating more opportunities for young Singaporeans, both boys and girls, to develop their talents and chase their dreams at the highest level.
With a wealth of experience from a storied playing career that has seen him earn 140 international caps – the second-most in Lions history – and ply his trade in three overseas countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand), Baihakki’s appointment will bring invaluable insight to the table as he looks to contribute to the game in this new chapter of his life.
Baihakki speaks with FIFA president Gianni Infantino during the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020, 5 December 2021
Baihakki said: “I became increasingly intrigued about the administrative aspect of football in the later stages of my playing days, having got glimpses of it during my time in Malaysia and Thailand. While it is common for players to transition into coaching after their careers, I am interested to find out more about our game from a management perspective and feel that this is an avenue that I want to explore further.
“My interest further grew when GS Yazeen got me involved in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2020 in December last year as an ambassador and I was able to witness first-hand the work that went on behind the scenes – processes that as a player before, I never knew the magnitude and importance of. This new role in the FAS will give me the opportunity to come in and do my part to further enhance the current football system and draw on my experiences as a former player to help the game move forward. I am also fortunate to have the chance to work on the UTR! Project in its early phases and all the stakeholders involved, in helping to shape the future of Singapore football. I also hope that more ex-players will consider exploring this aspect of football, as I am sure they will be able to contribute in their own way.”
Baihakki playing against Saudi Arabia, 11 June 2021. He is the second-most capped player in Lions history, with 140 appearances.
In addition, Baihakki will serve as a mentor to all National Team age-group players, both male and female, and may be part of team delegations at international competitions.
“I will be available to the players whenever they need someone to talk to, as well as provide advice where I can,” Baihakki said. “Having been a player for 19 years, I can understand that there are crucial decisions to be made at certain points of players’ careers, and the mental challenges that are present on and off the pitch. I believe that I will be able to empathise with their concerns and mindsets, and will do my best to guide them.”
FAS General Secretary, Yazeen Buhari, welcomed the appointment and said: “Baihakki has enjoyed a distinguished playing career and the myriad experiences that he can draw on will certainly add value to his new role. The FAS has always sought to involve former players in our processes where possible as they bring different perspectives, and I am glad that Bai has accepted this offer to come onboard with us and play a significant role in our future projects as well as with the UTR! initiatives. His professionalism and commitment to enhancing Singapore football will be very welcome, and our immediate focus is for Bai to develop his capabilities in football administration through the various courses available with UEFA and FIFA for former players transitioning to post-playing career in football management.”
Baihakki added: “I am grateful to GS Yazeen for reaching out with this opportunity and I look forward to starting my new role at the FAS. I hope to be able to work together with everyone involved in local football to go forward and make the game great again.”
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS DEPARTMENT
FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE