Khairuls, Fandis and the Quah sextet: A look at Singapore’s footballing siblings

From Fandi Ahmad’s fledgling teens to the legendary Quah brothers, siblings playing alongside or against each other have been quite common in Singapore football, as Nicholas Tan explored...

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Irfan and Ikhsan Fandi

Probably the most high-profile sibling pairing in Singapore football today, these two need no introduction. The eldest sons of Singapore legend Fandi Ahmad have, for a while now, been considered starlets with immense potential, particularly when Home United snapped them up last year.

While both Irfan, 19, and Ikhsan, 17, are currently fulfilling their National Service (NS) obligations, they are still involved in local football. 

The versatile Irfan, who played and trained as a striker throughout his developmental years, has cemented a place in the Protectors’ line-up as a defender while also adding two goals over his past two games, including this week's AFC Cup triumph over Yadanarbon.

He also earned his first competitive start for the national team in the AFC Asian Cup third round qualifier against Bahrain last month.

Ikhsan, a striker, joined the Garena Young Lions this season but has yet to play for the team.

With both still developing as players, expect Fandi’s youngsters to remain in the spotlight for years to come. Chilean side Universidad Católica, where the pair spent two years from 2014 to 2015, reportedly remain in touch over a possible return after they complete their NS duties.

Khairul Amri and Khairul Nizam

With 133 national caps between them, both strikers are household names in Singapore football, even playing alongside each other for the Lions and the now-defunct LionsXII.

Now leading the line for Tampines Rovers in his third stint with the Stags, Amri, 32, is firmly established as Singapore’s first-choice forward. The skillful yet hardworking marksman has scored 32 goals in 115 international appearances and is regarded as one of the leaders in the Lions set-up.

So far the older brother is more decorated

His younger brother’s tale, however, is somewhat different. Nizam, 25, has had a stop-start career plagued by knee injuries and ill discipline, and has yet to score a competitive goal for his country since making his senior debut in 2010.

But the younger brother seems to be on the path of resurgence this season with Home United. He was recalled to the Lions squad last month, on the back of one goal and four assists in just five appearances for the Protectors. 

The siblings have yet to face each other on the pitch this season. But with Tampines and Home eager to stamp their class on the league, don’t expect any brotherly favours from either as they aim to ensure their team finishes on top.

Amin Nasir and Nazri Nasir

From an established active sibling duo, we move on to a decorated retired pair. The Nasir brothers both donned national colours, were active in the S.League in the 1990s and 2000s, and pursued coaching upon retirement.

Known for his crunching tackles, Nazri, 45, was part of the 1994 Dream Team that lifted the Malaysia Cup and League double, and provided the cross that led to now-national coach V. Sundramoorthy’s famous bicycle kick goal against Brunei in 1993.

The combative midfield enforcer went on to captain the Lions at the 1998 Tiger Cup, accumulating a century of international caps and winning trophies with SAFFC (now Warriors FC) and Tampines Rovers.

After retiring in 2008 at the age of 37, he became an assistant coach to Fandi Ahmad for two years at the LionsXII before taking over the national under-15 team last year. 

Amin Nasri, who sadly passed away this year, during his time with Hougang

Elder brother Amin, a tenacious defender in his own right, represented the Lions from 1990 to 1993 and played for Tampines and Woodlands between 1997 and 2004. 

Amin also went behind the clipboard after hanging up his boots and oversaw the development of the ‘Class of 92’ batch at the Singapore Sports School. He then guided Hougang United to their equal highest-ever position of seventh in the 2014 S.League season. 

Sadly, the father of two passed away in January after a five-year struggle with cancer. 

[NEXT: Precious, Shahfiq and those famous Quah brothers]