Zainudin's Singapore-Valencia collaboration talk draws flak

The FAS president's comments on possible tie-ups with the Peter Lim owned club to develop Singapore football has been criticised by fans
Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President Zainudin Nordin has come under fire from netizens for claiming that Singapore football can benefit from Peter Lim's buy out of Spanish club Valencia.

Readers commenting on Goal Singapore's coverage of the news on our website and social media pointed out that FAS should be taking the initiative for any football development on their own, instead of hoping to leverage on Lim's acquisition.

News of the Singaporean's takeover of the La Liga side was welcomed by football fans in Singapore with many offering support for the billionaire.

In a television interview on Saturday night, which was subsequently published on Goal, Zainudin was asked of his opinion on the deal and the prospects it had for football in Singapore.

The 50-year-old who is into his fifth year of his FAS Presidency claimed that he was hoping to have a discussion with Lim on the possibilities of a collaboration between the local football authorities and Valencia.

He also suggested that the nation as a brand could also see a boost in popularity as well as gain more recognition for Singapore football.

Reader Muhd Imran, commenting on the article in a Goal Singapore Facebook post, wrote: "It's wrong for FAS to even think that Peter Lim's acquisition of Valencia should and would benefit our youngsters. FAS can't even be bothered to send our youth teams for centralised training in Europe like our Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts are doing, and now they want to share the limelight? Peter Lim had been actively looking for a club in Europe to take over for some time now and he's finally realising HIS own dream. And at the end of the day it's just business for him."

Another reader,Alek DB, commenting on's Facebook post of the Goal article, added: "I don't see how Cardiff City FC benefits Malaysian football, I don't see how Leicester City FC benefits Thai football. So let's not expect too much for Valencia coaching team to bend their backs for the new owner."

Basil Yeo, commenting on the same post pointed out that FAS, who are registered as a charitable organisation, should stop waiting for external support in developing Singapore football.

"Peter Lim can pump in $1billion into Singapore football but what good will it do when his "investment" will merely be treated as nothing more than a charitable donation," he commented on the Facebook post. "There are better and more deserving charities to donate to, like the Children's Cancer Foundation."

Singapore football should stop behaving like a charity. It should be run as a profit making business.

Lim has been an active contributor in the Singapore sports scene and the Singapore Olympic Foundatoin (SOF) - Peter Lim Scholarship that helps to support and develop young local athletes was set-up in 2010 with Lim's personal donation of S$10million.

The amount remains as the highest contribution towards the Singapore sports scene from an individual.

Lim's support of local athletes was also acknowledged by Zainudin in the same interview where he called the philanthropist "very Singaporean and caring of the Singapore sports scene".

Meanwhile, FAS have put in place plans to send the Singapore Under-23 players for an overseas tour later this year.

Currently Mahathir Azeman and Adam Swandi, based in Brazil and France respectively, are the two most notable young Singapore players plying their trade abroad. Fandi Ahmad's sons,Irfan and Ikhsan, who have had intermittent stays with the national youth teams, have adopted Chile to further their football development.