Singapore U23s given Asian Games green light

Singapore's U-23 National Team will be participating in the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon, South Korea after all, following a successful appeal.

It appears that the recent 3-2 friendly defeat of 2013 Gulf Cup Gold medalist Bahrain U23s had helped the Young Lions win their appeal.

This comes after widespread reports that the Singapore National Olympic Committee would be rejecting their appeal in spite of the impressive win.

“Playing against top-class international opponents in the Asian Games will certainly help our young footballers to raise their game,” Singapore National Team head coach Bernd Stange said.

“We have already seen some encouraging performances from the Under-23 National Team this year.

“Our players are now raring to do their best for their country and will play with pride and passion.”

Warriors FC defender Jeremy Chiang was in agreement, having represented Singapore at the 2006 Asian Games.

“To me, it is definitely good for Singapore football,” Chiang told FourFourTwo.

“Some people commented that their (the Singapore U-23) results don’t justify them to go.

“But to me, whatever competition that the national team or even clubs can participate, we should be supportive.

“ It’s the exposure that players get; I was in the squad for the Doha Asian Games many years back and it was an awesome experience.”

However, local sportswriter Dylon Teo Teng Kiat felt that allowing FAS to send a team despite not meeting the criteria given before the deadline might be unfair to other sports associations.

“I think it’s always good for our players to be exposed to higher-level competition, but SNOC might have set a poor precedent by allowing a team that has not met the criteria to qualify,” he said.

Photo: Football Association of Singapore