|By Kenneth Tan
A record fourth AFF Cup triumph will be the perfect tonic for the setbacks which Singapore football has suffered for the past couple of years.
That is the notion of former Singapore international R Sasikumar when he spoke on the Football Fever Podcast this week.
“It’s no secret the S.League is really ailing,” he told host Jason Dasey while acknowledging the fact that the Thai Premier League is in a much healthier state.
“Obviously the TPL is doing much better – with more money being poured in there, and bigger players going there.
"For us, we really need some sort of a morale booster or injection into the league, This win at the international level will really do a lot of good, not only the football, wise but also the whole football industry as a whole.”
Despite the commanding 3-1 lead attained from the first leg, the 39-year-old believes the second leg will be a totally different kettle of fish.
“It’s not going to be easy,” he noted. “They’re not going to play at the Rajamangala Stadium, the Supachalasai is a smaller venue and the Thais are really looking forward to this one because they have not won the tournament in the last 10 years."
"They’re definitely the favorites to win, but being the giants of ASEAN football, they haven’t flexed their muscles in the last 10 years. Just like Singapore, they need this success to fill the domestic competition.
"The boys will have their work cut out for them. Going into this as a Singaporean, of course I would love to see the Lions taking this for the fourth time and really put a rubber stamp that we’re the champions of the region, but it’s not going to be that straightforward and easy.”