Singapore Football Needs The Right Leaders

wwc 170321 football

ONE of the recurring points of concern with local football seems to be who will helm the sport at a national level.

The announcement to raise the level of football via the Unleash The Roar programme has been met positively for its potential and the 8 pillars that, at least on paper, look reasonably comprehensive.

We can review the true effectiveness once the details are released and what the response mechanisms are to any gaps that emerge.

The rise and fall and rise and fall of football in Singapore has led to a disinterest in the sport as we remember it during the heady days of the Malaysia Cup and The AFF Cup.

That was decades ago.

How will the new national programme revive interest in the sport and bring back the famous Kallang Roar?

Football legend, Quah Kim Song and former sports writer Jose Raymond chat with Kannan Chandran of STORM-ASIA.COM in the regular WED WEB CHAT series of discussions on current issues.

Kim Song is a Malaysia Cup legend whose winner brought the cup back to Singapore in 1977. His team mates are legends in the history of the sport in Singapore. Names like Dollah Kassim, S Rajagopal, Samad Alapitchay and coach Choo Seng Quee are still celebrated and held up as examples for the sport to try and emulate.

Jose covered the next wave of Singapore’s footballing high point. Names like Fandi Ahmad, R Sasikumar and V Sundramoorthy helped win the Tiger Cup and other regional tournaments. 

But the big aim was to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, which the team didn’t achieve. Although Jose says it almost got there.

Since then, the sport has been on the decline.

Kim Song and Jose talk about the challenges and the potential of what they consider an exciting plan for Singapore.

This is one of the regular WED WEB CHAT series of discussions organised by STORM-ASIA.COM which is held on the first and third Wednesday each month.

No Football For The Son Of Song

Having thrived on the sport, Kim Song is upbeat about the potential of Unleash The Roar, but will play it safe when it comes to his children turning professional. Watch the video below.

Get The Right People

In various discussions, the choice of leadership comes up as a constant cause of concern.

In a previous interview with R Sasikumar, Goals And Safety Nets, the issue came up. And it’s echoed in the WED WEB CHAT. Watch the video below.

Support From The Top

Kim Song and Jose feel it’s important that a national movement must have the buy-in from the leaders. The two don’t agree as to how high the blessings should come from, but both admit that dependable office bearers focussed on the big picture will help to raise the game.

Watch the video below.

The Role Of Critics

It’s evident on many fronts how thin-skinned leaders can be. Be it on the field or behind the desk, it’s important that constructive criticism is taken in the right spirit.

Kim Song feels that at this time, nurturing more than shredding should be called for.

Watch the video below.

Money For Women’s Football

Jose asks if we are maybe chasing the wrong dream team. Could the promise lie with the Lionesses? He feels a lot of money has been put into the men’s game, but not enough in the women’s scene.

Watch the video below.

There are more points raised and discussed about Singapore football during the WED WEB CHAT — Bring Back The Roar session. You can watch the full discussion below.

Watch our previous wedwebchats:

If you have a topic that is of interest, or have someone who would make a good panellist with a thought-provoking perspective on a subject, please email with your details and a short summary.

See also  A Glass Ceiling Over Your Head


  1. I think the point mentioned about getting parents to buy-in on the idea will be the toughest to overcome. Even if there are young budding talents, it’s tougher for them to ever see the light of day if parents shut them down. But that’s how it is these days; most people would want a stable income with a good future which is sadly not how football in Singapore is seen. It’s a slippery slope too because the worse the local scene gets, the more unlikely people will take the chance on honing their sporting talent.

    The Unleash the Roar initiative seems to cover many major sticking points, from youth development to “Whole-of-society partnership”. Providing young aspiring talents with a structure will certainly help with their development whilst upgrading the confidence of parents by showing that there is a defined path to the national team. However, what interests me is the “partnership” with society. Many Singaporeans do not think there is a future for football here, and the government will have to work hard to change that. Keen to see what they can come up with to rescue our football!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here