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Monday, October 2, 2023


Football in Singapore has been facing significant challenges in recent months, leading to scrutiny of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and its acting president, Bernard Tan.


The disappointing results of Singapore’s football teams have prompted calls for changes within the organization. However, Mr. Tan has stood firm, expressing his commitment to driving Singapore football forward.

In an interview with The Straits Times (ST), he acknowledged his past mistakes and highlighted the steep learning curve he has experienced since assuming the role of acting president.

The poor results of Singapore’s football teams have ignited a wave of public dissatisfaction, leading to online calls for the resignation of the FAS executive committee, including Bernard Tan.

Critics argue that fresh leadership is needed to address the persistent issues and revitalize Singapore’s footballing prowess.


A FAS review conducted post-SEA Games revealed ten findings that shed light on areas needing improvement. Tan candidly admitted his past shortcomings and expressed a desire to rectify them. He recognized the importance of centralization in training and the impact it had on the team’s performance.

One of the key findings of the FAS review was the lack of centralized training before the Merlion Cup, which significantly affected the team’s performance at the SEA Games.

Tan explained that challenges related to national service commitments, school obligations, and the observance of Ramadan limited players’ availability for centralized training. These constraints, in turn, had a detrimental effect on the team’s preparedness.

Tan admitted that, in hindsight, he would have taken different measures to address the challenges faced by the team. For instance, he would have sought the assistance of technical director Michael Browne to support the SEA Games coach, Philippe Aw.

However, despite offering additional resources, the SEA Games coach declined the assistance, leading to a missed opportunity for improvement. Tan takes full responsibility for his decisions and acknowledges the lessons learned from these experiences.


Bernard Tan made it clear that if he loses the support of the football community, he would be willing to step down from his position.

Looking ahead, Bernard Tan envisions a brighter future for Singapore football. With initiatives like the “Unleash The Roar” (UTR) project scheduled to launch in 2024 and a talented group of young players emerging, Tan remains optimistic.

He believes that with enhanced training, increased overseas exposure, and the development of a robust infrastructure within the FAS, Singapore has a chance to achieve success.

Unleashing The Roar: The UTR Project

The “Unleash The Roar” (UTR) project is set to commence in 2024 and holds great promise for Singapore football. This initiative aims to transform and elevate the standard of the sport by investing in training, talent development, and infrastructure.

By providing players with increased opportunities and exposure, the UTR project aims to cultivate a new generation of skilled footballers who can compete at the international level.

Bernard Tan recognizes that a strong infrastructure is crucial for the long-term success of Singapore football. By establishing a solid foundation within the FAS and employing dedicated staff to support the national team, Tan aims to create an environment conducive to growth and improvement.

A well-structured organization can provide the necessary resources and guidance for players to reach their full potential.

With an eye toward the future, Bernard Tan has set his sights on the SEA Games that Singapore will host in 2029. By implementing the UTR project and allowing a two-year preparation period for the team, Tan believes that Singapore stands a better chance of achieving success.

He remains optimistic about the talented crop of young players and their potential to bring glory to the nation in the 2029 SEA Games.

Challenged fan to come out “face to face” after 7-0 loss

Following the Singapore football team’s record-breaking and history-making 7-0 loss to Malaysia at the SEA Games on 11 May, tensions were understandably high and boiling over.


Netizens vented their outrage at the inexplicable humiliation of our football team and questioned the standards of the persons in charge, with a few of the arrows being directed at the Acting President of the Football Association of Singapore, Bernard Tan.

One netizen called out Tan and told him that he was not worthy of his paycheck and told him to resign from his position as head of the FAS, and Tan then issued a scathing response, challenging the netizen to come out and meet him face to face.

Tan said in his reply that he doesn’t get paid, and told the netizen that instead of attacking him online, he challenged the netizen to meet him face to face, which he said was a “one time offer”.

He then left behind his email and told the netizen to arrange the meeting, after which he will “delete” him.

The netizen then told Tan that he can’t “just leave Singapore fans in the dark, if things keep going like this, the game we love will die.”

Netizens and fans online were shocked and outraged by Tan’s response to the fans, comparing his comment as being similar to how people would ask their rivals to settle their problems outside through fighting (ie. “eh not happy 1v1 outside ah”).

Following the public outcry against his behaviour online, Tan posted on his account saying that emotions were running high at the time and that he regrets responding and said that he apologises deeply for what he did.

He said that he holds himself to a higher standard and that he is human and was hurting too, before setting his Instagram account to private and changing his profile bio to “sorry”.

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