FAS ● Dec 24, 2023

FAS President’s Christmas 2023 Message

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Dear members of the FAS football fraternity,

 

As we approach the conclusion of the year, this is a good time not only for reflection, but to prepare for what is to come in 2024. 2023 has been a mixed one for Singapore football, but this has allowed us to look forward to 2024 with a lot of optimism. In my year end message, let me share two key updates with you, underlining both our commitment to the growth of Singaporean football and in meeting our aspirations for the future.

 

𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗲

 

The FAS had recently invited interested parties to submit proposals to participate as the tenth club in the Singapore Premier League (SPL). The call was in response to interested parties who had expressed their interest in participating in an expanded league.

 

There has been talk about a privatised league. To grow the game, we clearly need to bring in more private money into the league. As such, we were very clear that new clubs should be predominantly funded by private entities and not rely on annual subsidies from the public sector. I am pleased to report that we have had a good response to the RFP, have received several indications of interest and will be collaborating closely with prospective parties over the next month to guide them in developing their proposals. While there is no guarantee that a tenth club will materialise next year, this exercise will inform us of the interest and the conditions, and lay the foundations for the future.

 

The league will also move towards the “European” calendar, in two steps, bringing us in line with the AFC Calendar – The SPL will kick off in the middle of the year with a pre-tournament before that. It will also feature changes in the number of foreigners to play, bringing us more in line with AFC rules. Albirex Niigata will compete as a local club for the first time. And there will be more games overall. These changes will make the league more attractive to private investors.

 

𝗦𝗶𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗴𝘂𝗲: 𝗙𝗼𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗼𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗿𝗼𝘄

 

After a long year of preparation, the Singapore Youth League (SYL) is set to commence in February next year. This is 100% geared towards promoting grassroot football. I am pleased to report an overwhelming response from the football community. A total of 216 teams from 53 Clubs and Academies have registered, spanning various age groups from under-8 to under-17.

 

The SYL is not merely a tournament; organised together with Unleash The Roar! (UTR!), it is intended to be the cornerstone of Singapore’s youth football development pathway. The SYL will get more kids playing and good venues. It will increase game time. Our young players will play at the right level, experience competition throughout the year, geared towards steepening the development curve.

 

To ensure a seamless commencement of the tournament, the FAS and UTR! will be conducting briefings with the registered teams over the coming weeks. While I expect some teething issues, I am sure we will be able to overcome these quite quickly.

 

𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻

 

These are just two of many other initiatives in the pipeline, affecting all facets of the game. I will be able to share more with you in due course. Some of these are still in the oven, while some already on the kitchen table, waiting for the right time to be announced. The use of the food metaphor at Christmas is probably apt!

 

As we celebrate Christmas, and are preparing to usher in the New Year, let us unite in our shared love for the beautiful game. Together, we can build a brighter future for Singaporean football.

 

Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Warm regards,
𝗕𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝗧𝗮𝗻
President