There is no doubt that Singapore football has sunk to an all-time low with fans and the general public becoming increasingly disenchanted with the sport they hold so dear to their heart. Singapore is a football-loving country but in recent times they have been expressing hatred compared to love for the local game.
An insipid local league combined with a bumbling footballing organization has left the local game in tatters. However FAS (Football Association of Singapore) once again has given us a glimmer of hope that it can come up with incisive initiatives to give football on this island a much needed boost. Enter the inaugural Singapore Sports Hub Festival of Football taking place from 14 June to 30 July at the OCBC Square this year.
The Festival of Football will be largest celebration of the beautiful game in Singapore. Significantly this event will see FAS partnering with a number of organisations to line-up a wide range of footballing and sporting activities for Singaporeans. It will serve as a platform for the community to engage through football and reconnect their love for the game. Moreover it is also about using football and sport to encourage Singaporeans to pursue an active lifestyle.
While admission is free, some of the activities include live screening of most matches for football’s showpiece event this year; the World Cup. Other activities include football clinics and a series of Sports Hub Community Play Day activities. Adding to the excitement is the daily prizes to be won including exclusive promotions for 2018 International Champions Cup happening in the country.
“As part of our renewed vision to be more collaborative, engaging and inclusive, we are grateful to be partnering with key stakeholders such as the Singapore Sports Hub and Sport Singapore to increase the programming in the football ecosystem in Singapore.” Mentioned Mr Yazeen Buhari, Acting General Secretary of the FAS
“The heightened programming will go a long way in boosting interest in the sport, which only bodes well for football in Singapore not only in the long-term but also as we build towards the year-end 2018 ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup,” added Mr Buhari.
Mr Buhari is definitely right when he said this event will go a long way in boosting interest in the sport. Singaporean football is in a desperate state but proposals such as this can actually help reignite interest in a sport that seems to constantly be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. As the national team gears up for the 2018 Suzuki Cup the Lions will be incessantly hoping that their 12th man turns up to give them a lift and possibly improve their chances of success in the tournament.
The right thing for fans to do now would be turn up in droves to show support for such initiatives. Yes, our national sport and the people who run it need to improve drastically and there is no doubt they are acutely aware of this. But for now, let’s stop the criticism and appreciate the good efforts of those involved in forwarding inclusive events. Because win or lose, what matters is we stay united behind our country and team, as one Singapore.