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Nowadays, there is nothing wrong when we think of any player who doesn't perform in the modern game by labelled him being “unprofessional”.

However, it was a different thing back in the old days, when the word "professional" was a TABOO.

Simply because players in those days were strictly amateur (as featured in the movie " Kallang Roar") and any form of engagement with monetary reward was strictly prohibited.

I was told by a former national player from that era how he was being implicated when a boot manufacturer used his name without his knowledge on an advertisement that almost jeopardized his place in the national team.

AFC's Teoh claimed Quah Kim Song "is a professional" in 1977 (NLB archives)

Another player from that era almost saw his place in the national team gone when he was alleged to break the code of conduct as an amateur by an official of the game's continental governing body months before the South East Asia (SEA) Games.

On 26th of August 1977, The Straits Times reported Singapore star Quah Kim Song "is (now) a professional", a claim made by Dato Teoh Chye Hin, the then secretary of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) following the ace striker's appearance at CK Tang, a local departmental store to host an autograph signing session and witnessed the distribution of tee-shirts apart from being featured in an advertisement to announce the aforementioned event.

Such an act, in Teoh's opinion, had breached the conduct as an amateur and led to speculation on Quah's eligibility to represent Singapore in the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games that year.

The likelihood of his main striker being banned from taking part in the biennial showpiece had the then national coach "Uncle" Choo Seng Quee worried.

Quah was involved in this CK Tang event that triggered the storm (NLB archives)

In a separate report on the broadsheet on the same day, the legendary tactician emphasized the importance of Quah by highlighted "He's our best forward and will be hard to replace him."

The then 25-year-old said he "was prepared for it" when he entered the contract with CK Tang - a decision he made after consulted several Football Association of Singapore (FAS) officials who "warned" him of the "consequences" of having the revoking of his amateur status, as reported in another article on the same page.

The whole issue dragged for weeks before a sudden "U-Turn" was made in Teoh's stance when he retracted his earlier statement on 23rd October 1977, after he claimed he "is now aware of the circumstance (then)."

Not taking anything for granted, the FAS decided to take one step further by seeking necessary guidance from FIFA on this matter and was given the mandate by the world governing body to decide the matter themselves which they did on 3rd of November by ascertained Quah's status an amateur to close the case.

FAS ascertained Quah's status as an amateur after seeking advice from FIFA in November 1977 (NLB archives)

 Unfortunately, it was not a good SEA Games outing in the Malaysian capital for the national team where they lost to both Burma (5-1) and Thailand (2-0) in the football tournament.

(P.S1: This is a repost of the original entry posted back in 2010 which was deleted due to some technical reasons with some details added in this reposting.)

(P.S 2: All images were reproduced from NLB online newspapers archives, should anyone think it is inappropriate to have any of the media shown on this blog entry, please kindly email me as soon as possible and I will remove them upon request.)

(P.S 3: I stand to be corrected should there be any mistake in this entry, please feel free to email me should there be any mistake, thanks)


Some Blog Posts From The Past

Preserving The Legacy of Those Who Toiled For Singapore Football

Book Review: Malaysia Cup 1987

[REPOST] The Day A Girl Sobbed For The Lions in March 1977

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