Fandi Ahmad apologises for S’pore’s poor football performance at SEA Games 2019
He defended his boys though.
On Dec. 1, Singapore’s football team suffered a 3-0 loss to defending champions Thailand, marking the first time in history the team has gone goalless in three consecutive Southeast Asian Games matches.
Prior to that, the Young Lions lost 2-0 to Indonesia and drew 0-0 with Laos.
This means that it is unlikely for Singapore to move on to the semi-finals, despite having two matches left to play.
Singapore only has one point from the three games played, placing them in the fifth position out of the six teams in the group.
Only the top two teams in each group will proceed to the next stage.
Fandi Ahmad apologises for the bad results
Speaking to The Straits Times after the match against Thailand, coach Fandi Ahmad, 57, apologised for his team’s poor performance in the SEA Games thus far.
Fandi noted that their performance so far did not meet the expectations Singaporeans had of both him and the SEA Games.
Fandi however defended his young team:
“I am sorry we could not deliver a medal this time but I must repeat that it is no fault of the boys.
They have been fighters throughout all the tough times.”
Issues surrounding Singapore’s football
Fandi also reiterated the same points he made after the Indonesia defeat.
He said that Singapore does not have have as much football talent as the other Asean countries.
He also explained another major issue with the Singapore team: Most of the players are part-timers, students and national servicemen.
So, the coaches are forced to wait for them to finish their duties around evening time before they can start training.
Fandi however acknowledged that these weren’t excuses and that other teams had “moved ahead of us and are improving at a faster pace.”
Working to improve the team
Nevertheless, Fandi promised to make full use of his new role as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS)’ head of elite youth next year.
He said that he will continue to try and improve the national youth teams as much as possible by working with “MINDEF, Ministry of Education, Sport Singapore and other stakeholders to try to improve things.”
The Young Lions will face powerhouse Vietnam on Tuesday, Dec. 3 and Brunei on Thursday Dec. 5.
Top photos via FAS.