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Why state media omits FAS top management accountability for failures?

Singapore’s mainstream media, covering Nishigaya’s removal, align with FAS, blaming him for the team’s performance. Strikingly, they diverge from majority sentiments, neglecting accountability within FAS top management.



On Monday (29 Jan), the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced the removal of Takayuki Nishigaya (西谷隆之) from his position as head coach of the Singapore men’s national football team.

In a media statement, FAS said the decision to part ways with 50-year-old Mr Nishigaya, appointed less than two years ago, was made “after careful consideration.”

FAS expressed dissatisfaction with the national team’s recent performance and results, stating they were “below expectations.”

FAS emphasised the need for an early transition to a new successor to revitalize the team and provide ample time for preparation for upcoming crucial matches and the year-end AFF tournament.

Singapore’s mainstream media strangely omits accountability of FAS top management

The news has been widely covered by Singapore’s mainstream media, echoing the sentiments of the FAS and placing the blame squarely on Mr Nishigaya for the performance of Singapore’s national team.

Upon reviewing the mainstream media (MSM) reports, such as that by The Straits Times, it was stated that Mr Nishigaya’s departure “does not come as a surprise, given the discontent among fans and some players.”

CNA characterized Mr Nishigaya’s tenure as a “turbulent reign,” emphasizing his struggles to win over both fans and the broader public.

The report also highlighted the emergence of the hashtag #Nishigayaout on Instagram and TikTok.

Calls for overhauling FAS leadership beyond the coach

However, upon examining online community sentiments, it becomes evident that the MSM narrative departs from the majority sentiments, strangely failing to acknowledge accountability within the FAS top management.

The online community has expressed a desire for reform in Singapore football that goes beyond the coach. There is a pronounced emphasis on the need for changes in the entire FAS team management.

There are also opinions surfaced asserting that blaming Mr Nishigaya is unjust, with some suggesting that the decision by FAS to part ways with him merely serves as a scapegoat for the top management, attempting to salvage face amidst ongoing failures.

In a recent article, TMSG,  Singapore’s sports and lifestyle blog asserted that vilifying Mr Nishigaya is misguided.

While acknowledging his responsibility for the Lions’ inability to succeed, the article contended that the real failure lies with the leadership of the FAS.

The piece raised a crucial question about the lack of transparency surrounding Mr Nishigaya’s hiring, despite he had no experience of having led a national team, couldn’t speak English and had not coached outside of Japan.

“The decision-makers who agreed to take him are the ones who need to be vilified. And that is the leadership of the FAS, ” the article mentioned.

Furthermore, the article called attention to the role of the 37 ordinary members of the FAS, who are voting members and have the constitutional power to remove the leadership.

It encouraged these affiliates to take action and not remain silent in the face of what is perceived as the destruction of Singapore football.

Then-FAS president welcomed Mr Nishigaya as “best candidate” to lead the national team

In April 2022, Mr Nishigaya, a former J-League player with 100 appearances, joined as Lions Head Coach on a two-year contract, succeeding Tatsuma Yoshida.

The decision sparked questions, as it marked Nishigaya’s first international role.

Reportedly recommended by the Japan Football Association technical committee, his appointment involved a panel featuring then-FAS president Lim Kia Tong, current president Bernard Tan, vice-president Teo Hock Seng, council member Goh Tat Chuan, and general secretary Yazeen Buhari.

In April 2022, Mr Lim in a press statement, welcomed Mr Nishigaya as Lions Head Coach, stating, “We are delighted to have Nishigaya on board after a rigorous recruitment process.”

“We knew that Tatsuma had left some big shoes to fill, and it was imperative that we found the best candidate who had the required character and attributes to succeed him. ”

“We believe that Nishigaya is exactly that and we are confident he can take on the challenge of continuing to make our Lions roar.”

Mr Nishigaya’s tenure as Lions coach ends with eight wins, eight losses and five draws in 21 matches.

A particular low point of his spell was in January 2023, when the Lions were trounced 4-1 by Malaysia before a meek exit in the group stage of the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Championship.

In their final group game at the 32nd SEA Games in Cambodia on 11 May 2023, Singapore’s football team suffered a crushing 7-0 defeat against Malaysia.

This defeat marked Singapore’s most significant loss since the previous edition, where they lost 0-5 to Thailand. It was also the first time since 1987 that the under-22 football team finished the tournament at the bottom of the group with zero wins.

As the governing body of local football, the FAS was lambasted with criticism over the national team’s performance.

Edwin Tong: Singapore Govt dedicated to uplifting standards of Singapore football

In a July 2023 Parliamentary sitting, Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), stated that the government is dedicated to uplifting the standards of Singapore football.

However, Mr Tong, formerly vice-president of FAS from 2013 to 2020, cautioned that significant improvements should not be expected immediately, as this will be a “long-term endeavour that will require collective action from many stakeholders”.

“I am pleased to share that there is steady progress on the Unleash the Roar!” (UTR!) project. Earlier this year, we shared with Members of the House on the progress of our School Football Academies (SFAs) and our partnership with Spain’s LaLiga Academy to provide overseas training opportunities. ”

Mr Tong added that Singapore also set out concrete measures to uplift Singapore football in the longer-term:

  • First, establish a national framework to systematically select and develop the best players from the broad base of participation that we have from the SFAs, the Singapore Sports School, ActiveSG Football Academy as well as private clubs and academies;
  • Second, set up a national football development centre as the main training centre to develop more structured opportunities for training and competition for those who aspire to be selected and represent Singapore in the national teams;
  • Third, progressively roll out training on talent identification for coaches, and strengthen the scouts’ capabilities in identifying the best of our young footballers;
  • and Fourth, launch the inaugural UTR! scholarship to provide promising footballers the best environment to train and compete, alongside their academic pursuits. The scholarships will be launched later this year.

Considering FAS’s performance in recent years, it is unclear why Mr Tong and the government persist in supporting the current FAS management, led by its president, Bernard Tan.

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How to improve on SG football when it is not allowed to play balls everywhere! Not in void deck, and there is no open area for kid to play balls or any kind of sports!

All sports start from young. Footballers Pele and Diego Maradona started playing footballer on the street when they were kids.
Every open space in SG is now for shopping malls, condos and BTOs.
Remember during the Malaysia Cup era, those footballers in our national teams were also started playing at a young age! There were a lot of open spaces then!

It has been, what near 30 years(?), since Ah Goh mooted that SG can qualify for the WC. 30 years and still we can’t even perform in AFC Asian Cup which is not even world-class standard. 30 years with many turnovers of management teams, full national resources to push for it, public money spent, yet still no momentum forward. This is definitely Kayu Boy’s style of Management. No wonder Ah Goh handed over confidence level at 76+%, but now it is barely 60%. World class salary for themselves, but results are third-class standard.

Didn’t this PAP ADMINISTRATION structured, cemented the National No Blame Culture for Sheepgapore few years ago when it all began when the deaths of A FEW Hepatitis Patients occurred in one Hospital before Gen Election, the deaths of which ONLY ANNOUNCED after GE, OR ONLY the PAP Administration no blame?

Dun blame the coach, dun blame the players, certainly dun blame Singaporeans. Croatia and Iceland are small states like SG, definitely not as wealthy and not how-lian with the most powerful passport in the world, but they still managed to get into the World Cup. FAS will keep FAILING because it REFUSE to owe the real problem – we simply have Fuxking Management.

Maybe this is what they term Untouchable. They knew too many shit and where the skeletons are kept. Remember the IOC guy who was found guilty of trying to influence others election? Was the name Ng Ser Mien?

In order to clean out these rubbish, you got to clean out those rubbish Pappy politicians first.


because the management are all pappy cronies selected by the pappies in gahmen. what u think? dun FICA me hor. it’s just a theory, a FOOTBALL GAME THEORY!

The Bo Bianism or culture of sporeans will continue until enlightenment is reached by majority which will not be in our lifetimes.

The top layer should also be removed if the bottom layer is sour!

we should throw away this mouldy cake!

go bake a NEW piece otherwise we may get stomped PAIN!

SimplyGo sucks? Blame the riders!
Soccer team sucks? Blame the coach!

I guess … that’s the SOP? Despite their world’s highest salary ???
I used to think dream jobs existed only in dream? SILLY ME !!!

Last edited 4 months ago by wee

pAP already cannot run SG properly for Singaporeans.
What do you expect from other organisations like FAS.

I am sorry but I keep wondering why Singaporeans are upset about the national team. What is happening to the national team is so boringly expected. I have given up on them a long time ago. As I stated in another post – why Palestine mired with so much misery can qualify for the main draw of the AFC Asian Cup and even squeezed into the last 16? On the other hand, Singapore with all the trimmings of a rich nation was last in its group in the preliminary round. All the presentations and charts and grandiose plans are just… Read more »

Fandi would be able to tell you all the dirty shit inside the FAS and the sgitty management but he choose to leave and remain silent.
Guess Fandi was right.
Your Sinkie system, NOT ONLY FAS, is BEYOND REDEMPTION!😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

Typical top management with a vision but have no idea how to achieve that vision, nor do they care to be actively involved in helping to attain the vision. Just employ “someone”, throw in public money, poor results, not their problem. Repeat cycle until a miracle happens . . . or when they retire, whichever comes first.

Red card the entire FAS.

FAS expressed dissatisfaction with the national team’s recent performance and results, stating they were “below expectations.”

I guess, FAS expected Nishigaya to perform…

Draw huge salaries , clamour for fame, attract popularity, demand for glamour – but in their midst all are screwed up kids (not even grown up as adults). Where is the acceptance of Goal 2010 S Africa baton from the liar leader?

Look up to, at, Messrs Ganesan, Loh Lin Kok, Choo Seng Quee – these are giants, but dwarfs in salaries and perks.

A BIG Goal 2010 LIAR certainly has devout followers, naturally. Talked about mediocrity, big balls to shut this liars mouth.

All out to cover up someone or some people. Media was instructed to not blow this out of proportion and hopefully the citizens will look the other way. That’s what they’re good for. Rotten eggs breed no chicken.

Who are the 37 ordinary members of the FAS?
What does the FAS constitution say about election of office bearers?
Where does FAS get their money from?
Who audits the FAS’s accounts?

How much money is being paid to these offices bearers?

Firstly, they mix football with politics.
Secondly, birds of the same feathers flock together.

So that’s the type of results we are seeing

First World country always import the best. tsk tsk tsk

the next one coming will also be the best. tsk tsk tsk

Gold 90.5 FM , sounds good feels good. tsk tsk tsk