Readers' response: SNOC, reconsider your decision!
Disappointed is not enough to describe my feelings when I heard that the Young Lions once again would not be allowed to take part in this coming Asian Games. If you are not going to let the Young Lions play against the top Asian teams, how are they going to improve and when can we ever reach the World Cup? If this carries on, don’t talk about the now defunct Goal 2010, even if you set Goal 3010, we can never make it to the World Cup!
Maybe SNOC will argue that FAS can invite good teams over and have friendly games with the Lions but come on, let's face it! It is not going to be the same! A friendly game is definitely different from a competition as there is lesser at stake and opposition may not field a strong team. And I believe it will cost lesser to send the team to Asian Games to play than to invite others over.
Beside the selection criteria, is SNOC afraid that the team will disgrace us? Let me tell SNOC we fans are not afraid of seeing the team lose even if the result is like at the 1990 Asian Games when we lost to Korea 7-0 and China 5-1. We fans will be sad at that moment but the most important thing is to see them fight, learn and improve. The experience is going to be invaluable as the Young Lions mature into full-fledged Lions!
Then please look at the S.League. Who is sitting at the top of the table now? YOUNG LIONS!!!!! Young Lions entered the S-league to gain experience but now they are beating teams which are made up of more experienced and senior players. The S.League is no longer providing the sort of experience that can help the Young Lions mature. It is time to expose them to even tougher competition and the Doha Games is a good way.
Lastly, I would like to say that although SNOC has a set of criteria for the selection, exceptions can always be made. Soccer is a national sport! Just look at the National Stadium at the last Tiger Cup Final, a sea of red packed the stadium to support the Lions! No disrespect to the other sports but which other sports have managed to do so? YOU NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE not only to soccer but also other sports with valid reasons to go Doha. Please look at the long term development of the sports and not the short term achievements so I plead with SNOC to reconsider your decision.
It is indeed disappointing to learn that our Lions will not be participating in December's Asian Games though end of last year, Fifa named Singapore as Asia's most improved team, which saw the Lions rise 20 notches in the world ranking from 112 to 92.
Mr. Kofi Anan of United Nations in a recent article commented on the impact that the World Cup, like no other sports, has in bringing a whole world together and likewise especially in Singapore, it has been recognised that football has been successful in bringing a nation from all walks of life together.
No other sports commands such a great support as well as being played and enjoyed by many, young and old. As such the criteria for selection should be different for Football.
It is imperative that our Lions be given the opportunity to compete competitively with the best internationally in order to improve our play and provide our young footballers the opportunity and hope of experiencing and possibility of playing on the international platform.
I feel sorry for Raddy, our Lions and FAS who have worked hard to get this far as well as the support of fans, to be let down in this way.
It would indeed be a shame if we do not continue with our quest and thus would be taking 20 steps backwards after having shown much improvement recently.
Carol Tan (Mrs)
It is definitely a short-sighted decision by SNOC not sending the Young Lions to Doha. You train to play, and you play to get the result. The result need not be the top three position, but a result for the future. The Young Lions certainly need that kind of big stage to experience and the whole team need (including the team manager, coaches, trainers) need that kind of exposure to improve. Just setting our sights on the SEA Games or Tiger Cup...we will go no where.
We can’t improve if we do not play with the Asian powerhouses, like Japan, Korea, China, Iran. Why are we worry about getting thrashed? (We were narrowly beaten by Japan, and we beat Iraq!) It is a road that we have to go through.
For a football fan , it is a disappointing decision, and for the player and the coaching staff, it is definitely a demoralizing decision. After putting so much effort and playing so hard in the S.League this season, it's back to the drawing board again.
Don’t give up, make the impossible possible!
I am very disappointed with SNOC's decision to drop the Under 23's soccer team from the DOHA event. Lets face it, what are the chances of the other sporting teams grabbing the top 3 spots? Can count by the fingers! Why not send our U-23 for the experience, as they deserve it. By the time our so-called 'old participants' are 'READY' , they are already dads or gramps! Let the U-23 go as a carrot, not a gold winning trip.
I am a primary school teacher who is also in charge of our school's football team. On my football's notice board, I put up the faces of Indra, Noh Alam, Baihakki with the slogan "Do you want to be like one of them? Join the football team and fulfil your dreams now!"
With SNOC's recent decision to drop football from the Asian Games, it has shattered the dreams of my primary school pupils. This decision not only affects our Young Lions, but has also disrupted the whole footballing set-up, from school level, right up to national team level. How am I going to motivate my pupils to fulfil their dreams of becoming the next Indras, Alam Shahs, Baihakkis when they see their countrymen not giving the football team a chance to represent Singapore in a major tournament?
Myself, and a lot of my fellow primary school coaches, have tried to do our best to lay the foundation for the football scene here. But it seems like our effort is going to go down the drain now. Please, for football's sake and the dreams of millions of school children out there, reconsider your decision now, SNOC.