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Please Don't Repeat As Another Superficial Gimmick

The bold announcement of Singapore eyeing a spot in the 2034 World Cup by Edwin Tong, the vice-president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), sent a shockwave around the local football fraternity in recent days.

It came at a time when local football is still trying to pull itself out of the bad patches it is experiencing now and barely a surprise such a lofty target is met with skepticism from all corners once again it brought back sad memories of the "Goal 2010" project which was launched in 1998.

I shall not dwell on why and how the "Goal 2010" was mooted but here to share what I witnessed at the fanfare at Suntec City - the venue where the whole project kicked start on 5th December 1998.


It was a huge turnout with everyone eager and excited to play a part in this historical day that was supposed to see Singapore adhere to a blueprint to see her qualify for the World Cup in 2010 (although FAS clarified it was not the case in the first place years later).

The launch event was further divided into a few workshops where participants were engaged in idea sharing and discussions on the topic of the workshop they attended, such as marketing, coaching, competition, etc.

The name tag is given to me at the "Goal 2010" launch 

I was assigned by my editor to cover the proceedings inside the "infrastructure" workshop which I had no slight idea of what it was about, given the fact that I was in the early days of my involvement in the scene.

I recalled, if not wrong, the workshop was moderated by former Singapore national coach Seak Poh Leong and among those in the room was the late Straits Times journalist Joe Dorai halfway into the session, the then national coach Barry Whitbread joined in the discussions by voicing his thoughts from the back of the room.

After the workshop was over, all the attendees were ushered into a huge auditorium where a panel discussion took place, and among the speakers was veteran journalist Jeffrey Low who shared his candid thoughts on the difficulties facing Singapore should we want to achieve the targets set by the project.

The demographical composition of Singapore Football had evolved ever since

Unfortunately, much of this project did not materialize due to various factors the lofty ambition finally hit its death kerb in June 2004 when FAS declared the "Goal 2010" project was over.

However, the name "Goal 2010" lives on and more than often is a butt of the joke when comes to ridiculing local football when the opportunity arises.


Years later, another blueprint was unveiled in 2010 with the aim to be among the top echelon of Asian football.

Aptly named "FAS Strategic Plan 2010-2015", the comprehensive blueprint covered a wide range of aspects such as Development, Competition, Participation, etc.

While the regime in charge back then time to time assured the unconvinced public and media that the Strategic Plan was "always on the track"' to ensure things were kept in place and never short of naming some of the game's luminaries given their endorsements to the blueprint, it seemed to me this 2010 blueprint was not different from the one launched in 1998 when a peer remarked bluntly "it's a merely plan to shut people's mouth up!".

The Launch Video of "Strategic Plan"

Probably it was the case when personally I felt one of the key objectives the "Strategic Plan" failed to deliver was to have the Singapore national team play regularly, if possible, against "Top 15 in Asia and Top 50 in the world", as spelled out under the "Football Excellence" of the plan.

To sum it up, following the failure of both "Goal 2010" and the "Strategic Plan" that was supposed to guide Singapore to be among the top footballing nations, this latest chest-thumping statement that first appeared in the Straits Times is seen by many a mission impossible given the huge handicap we facing in local football at this present moment.

The thing is we can have blueprints with fanciful names but if we cannot stick to them and are unable to face the truth when issues pop up, it is pointless to have all these stuff which are nothing but some superficial gimmicks.

The logo of the "Strategic Plan"

Furthermore, it is not difficult to single out which areas are constantly highlighted as being the most problematic - the poor grassroots development, the national service issues, the lack of quality coaching, etc.

So if the above-mentioned is going to be the main focus of any new blueprint to be unveiled soon, it would be advisable to retrieve a copy of the proposals of both "Goal 2010" and "Strategic Plan" from the attic to avoid any repetition of any failed aspect of the two.


  1. Football is whole Singapore project . If u want football in Singapore flourish ,everyone must be involved including ordinary singaporean. It's mean we must play attractive football in league and singaporean must attend stadium to watch thee football. They have to support local football first before they can taste the fruit. But most want to taste the fruit but doesn't want to help to start planting the seed. Ordinary singaporean are the source to help to grow local football. But they have EPL to harvest premiere fruit ,why must go for a local Brand poor fruit. But if Singaporean take the initiative to pay a little fee to watch local football,it would help to grow,they are planting the seed


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