AFC seeks experts to revitalise S.League
Continental body to tap on its links with Uefa to help Singapore's professional league
The Great Eastern-Hyundai S. League is set for change as the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has enlisted the help of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) to improve the local competition.
AFC general secretary Windsor John revealed that it will be sourcing for consultants to assess the 22-year-old S.League before implementing a model for revitalising the league.
Speaking at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday, John told the media that the AFC is set to bear the expenses of the consultation.
He said: "Before we come to the model that the AFC would like to implement, we need to have a proper assessment of the S.League.
"My commitment to the executive committee and the council is that we would be able to send the right people to come to Singapore and make the assessment and evaluation before presenting a model that will work for Singapore."
John added that a clear road map from the assessment is paramount to rejuvenating the S.League.
He said: "We have a wide range of experts from Asia and a memorandum of understanding with Uefa that gives us the opportunity to bring its experts from Europe. We need to find experts who have worked in similar conditions and we need to find the right balance.
"We need to make the right decision so that there is sustainability and a clear road map towards achieving change that the board would like to make."
Low attendances at games, a lack of fan interest and dwindling sponsorship have affected the S.League in recent years.
We have a wide range of experts from Asia and a MOU with Uefa that gives us the opportunity to bring its experts from Europe.AFC general secretary Windsor John
In 2011, the league hit a new low in average attendance of 944, which went even lower the following year with an annual average of 876.
However, John asserted that a good plan will take time to roll out.
He told The New Paper after the press conference: "A good plan for today means that someone would have to clear the field and plant the seeds, the seeds would have to be watered and nutured.
"Only the person at the end of the 15 or 20 years will reap the fruits, and that is a long process."
FAS president Lim Kia Tong agreed, asserting that the long- term view is exactly the focus of his council.
"Moving forward, we will not change structures for the sake of changing structures," he said.
"Whatever decisions made in regards to the administration, the FAS will definitely bear in mind what we have learnt from the AFC."
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