FAS: S'pore's 2034 World Cup qualification an 'aspirational target', not only measure of success

More like a shot on target.

Sulaiman Daud | March 10, 2021, 11:02 AM

Goal 2034, or the aim of Singapore's qualification for the FIFA World Cup, is not intended as the sole marker of success for Singapore football.

Instead, it is an "aspirational target", according to Bernard Tan, deputy president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

Speaking at a press conference on March 9, Tan said the target remains "important", as young Singaporeans are going to commit to the project, and should "aim high", as reported by CNA.

However, the success of the project is "obviously" not on World Cup qualification alone.

Instead, other indicators will also be considered, such as more fans turning up to watch games, raising the standard of Singapore football, and getting parents involved.

National football project

Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on March 8 that the new project will see the Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), Sport Singapore (SportSG) and FAS introduce the football programme in phases.

The new project's tagline is "Unleash the Roar".

Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Eric Chua announced during COS debate that his ministry is working with the Ministry of Defence to give high-level football players time off and leave to facilitate training for competitions.

The measures include early enlistment, leave and time-off for full-time national servicemen (NSFs) to allow them to train and give them opportunities to play at top levels whilst fulfilling their NS obligations.

The Ministry of Education is also involved, to establish a standardised national curriculum of football in primary schools.

Progress from 2020

Goal 2034 was also the cause of some controversy during the 2020 Committee of Supply debates.

Last year, Workers' Party Member of Parliament Faisal Manap asked what the Singapore government was doing to help achieve Goal 2034.

In reply, Senior Parliament Secretary Baey Yam Keng said the government would "not interfere" in the running of sports associations.

FAS then released a public statement saying it was "surprised", and sought clarification from the government about its involvement in the project.

The two bodies then released a joint statement saying it would meet to establish "greater clarity" on the plan.

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Top image from FAS Facebook page.