S'pore men's football team not participating in upcoming Asian Games: FAS

The women’s football team, however, will continue to participate in the Asian Games.

Syahindah Ishak | July 11, 2023, 06:56 PM

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The Singapore national men's under-22 football team will not participate in the upcoming Hangzhou Asian Games, said the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

The Asian Games is scheduled for September 2023.

Will focus on priority tournaments

In a statement on Tuesday (Jul. 11), FAS said the decision to not participate in the Asian Games was reached following the post SEA Games football review.

The decision is "in line with one of the recommendations" from the review, which is for the men's national U-22 team to focus on two priority tournaments — the SEA Games and the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup qualifying tournament.

Scheduling conflicts

In addition, FAS said the team's "recent performances" as well as "scheduling conflicts" were taken into consideration.

This Asian Games was postponed from September 2022 because of the Covid pandemic, leading to a "congested fixture list in 2023".

It falls outside the FIFA window and now takes place in the same month as the 2024 AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers.

FAS said it has discussed its decision with Sport Singapore (SportSG) and the Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC).

"SportSG supports this decision and SNOC has no objections," FAS said.

According to FAS, the national women's football team will continue to participate in the upcoming Asian Games.

"Period of introspection"

Acting president of FAS Bernard Tan said the association has gone through a "period of introspection" the past few weeks.

He added: "We are right now in the midst of implementing the recommendations from the recent SEA Games review."

General secretary of FAS Yazeen Buhari said:

"Learning from the review, we also considered the preparation time required to get the team ready for each tournament, vis-a-vis the players' commitments to their clubs, schools, and national service.

Given that the Asian Games comes off the back of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers, this makes participation particularly challenging."

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Top images via SNOC/FB.