Press Releases ● Apr 03, 2013
Singapore Football Clinches National Team of the Year and Four Key Accolades at Inaugural AFF Awards 2013
Three Singapore players also named in the AFF’s First XI
SINGAPORE, 3 APRIL 2013: The Football Association of Singapore is pleased to announce that the Lions have been crowned the “Asean Football Federation (AFF) National Team of the Year (Men)”. In addition, four nominees from the local football fraternity also clinched key awards at the inaugural AFF Awards 2013 ceremony which was held today in Pahang, Malaysia.
Radojko Avramovic and Shahril Ishak, the coach and captain of the victorious team at the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup, clinched the “Coach of the Year (Men’s Team)” and “Player of the Year (Men)” awards respectively.
Singaporean match officials, who are highly regarded in Asia today, also secured two awards – with Abdul Malik and Tang Yew Mun garnering the “Referee of the Year (Men)” and “Assistant Referee of the Year (Men)” accolades.
In addition to the individual awards, Singapore and LionsXII captain Shahril Ishak, midfield maestro Mustafic Fahrudin from S.League champions Tampines Rovers FC and defensive bedrock Baihakki Khaizan from LionsXII were also named in the AFF’s First XI at this year’s awards.
FAS President Zainudin Nordin said: ‚”It is an honour for our coach, players and match officials to be ranked as the best in the region, and their awards are a testament to the hard work of every team member involved, including our staff and stakeholders such as sponsors, fans, clubs, volunteers and the media. We are encouraged, yet humbled, by the recognition of our progress in recent years, including the positive assessments of our footballing vision and programmes by FIFA and other leading Football Associations, as well as the awards we have received, such as the prestigious AFF Awards 2013. However, there remains much hard work ahead and we will continue to strive towards our goals, work on other areas in which we are lacking, and bring Singapore football to the next level.”
Mr Zainudin added: “2012 has been a positive year for local football, and our fans were treated to plenty of quality football action at the AFF Suzuki Cup, S.League, Malaysia Super League, Lion City Cup and NexLions competitions. Apart from the Lions, every staff in the Association deserves recognition for their hard work and relentless efforts. Off the pitch, we have also received positive reviews from our stakeholders including Singapore Sports Council and FIFA, who noted that we are on track to fulfilling the goals in the Strategic Plan. In addition to striving to secure more resources, we must also continue to work hard in order to ensure our footballing programmes are implemented fully. It is important that we build on the success and aim to raise the levels of professionalism in all aspects.”
Former national team head coach Radojko Avramovic said: “I am deeply honoured to be awarded the coach of the year with Singapore national football team. 2012 was a memorable year as Singapore achieved a record fourth AFF title. It was a great nine-year tenure with the Lions, and the rest of the team at the FAS – without whom this award would not have been possible. I would like to thank FAS President Zainudin Nordin, General Secretary Winston Lee, its management and the backroom staff for the sterling contributions and commitment to the growth of football in Singapore during the past decade. I am confident that Singapore football will continue to progress in the years ahead.”
Captain Shahril said: “It was a great year for Singapore, and especially so when we attained the AFF Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time last December. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the FAS management for their commitment and support towards local football, including the national team, the fans, as well as the backroom and support staff for their relentless hard work . It is a great honour for me, Bai and Mustafic to have been named in the first XI of this region. We will continue to work hard, build on our success and strive to further develop and improve Singapore football.”
Abdul Malik, a FIFA referee since 2002, said: “As much as I am deeply honoured to have received this award, I must acknowledge the roles of the FAS Referees’ Department and Referees’ Committee in grooming our referees over the years. Their commitment inconstantly seeking ways and initiatives aimed at ensuring that our referees continue to perform at the highest standards, including a review of our refereeing programmes by a senior FIFA official and the placement of referees on overseas attachments and courses, has greatly facilitated our development.”
“While I am confident that FAS will continue to work towards raising the level of knowledge, skills and capabilities of our match officials – especially the younger referees, it is important for us to remain focused, committed and disciplined if we wish to reach the next level of refereeing. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my family and fellow colleagues for their support and encouragement all these while,” added Malik, who has officiated in several high-profile matches including the World Cup 2014 Qualifiers, the AFC Asian Cup third-place playoff, the London Olympic Asian Qualifiers playoff and the AFC Champions League final.