Government launching new project to unite Singaporeans through football

The project seeks to raise the standard of football among young Singaporeans.

Phoon Jia Hui

Jack of all trades, master of drinking boba milk tea.

Published: 8 March 2021, 5:55 PM

A national project to unite Singaporeans through football will be launched. 

This was announced by Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Mr Edwin Tong in Parliament on Monday (Mar 8). 

He explained that football is the “most participated” team sport in Singapore and brings together Singaporeans from all walks of life.

“A national team that can perform at the highest levels affirms Singapore’s multiple pathways of success and is a source of national pride. It can also expand opportunities for all — to play, to coach or just to be that crazy football fan cheering our team on,” said Mr Tong.

“Our football is not quite where we would like it to be. We can do more and we can do better, to rekindle the Kallang Roar and give our young Lions every opportunity to pursue their dreams.”

The project aims to raise the standard of football among young Singaporeans through a structured training programme and encouraging Singaporeans to support the national football team.  

The latest project is related to the Goal 2034 ambitions mooted by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) two years ago to have the national team qualify for the World Cup in 2034.

The first phase of the latest project will take place over the next two years. It will lay the foundation for Singapore’s football teams across different age groups to be more competitive on the regional and international stages.

The FAS will introduce a standardised national curriculum for football to promote interest in the sport and to improve football standards among primary school pupils.

The curriculum will also be made accessible to public and private football clubs and academies for adoption, with all football coaches being trained to teach the curriculum. 

The FAS will increase the number of qualified football coaches in primary and secondary schools too, with the aim for all school coaches to attain at least the Asian Football Confederation ‘C’ coaching licence.

At the secondary school level, football academies will be established in selected schools and footballers under these academies will compete in a new elite youth league, over and above the current school games.

Talented students outside these academies will subsequently be scouted to join the ActiveSG Football Academy Development Centres, so that they may receive similar levels of training support and exposure to competitions. 

Local and overseas scholarships will also be offered to those who wish to pursue a professional career in football.

“FAS is in discussions with overseas football institutions, such as La Liga, Bundesliga Club Borussia Dortmund as well as Australian colleges such as Maribyrnong College,” added Mr Eric Chua, Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth. 

“Locally, we will work with clubs, such as the Lion City Sailors, to provide similar opportunities.” 

Additionally, MCCY is working with the Ministry of Defence to explore opportunities for footballers to continue training and playing at top levels while fulfilling their National Service obligations.

More details of the plan will be announced by FAS and Sport Singapore on Tuesday, MCCY said.

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