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FAS responds to Tengah FC’s SPL aspirations, clarifying ongoing selection process

Amidst Tengah FC’s jubilant announcement of ‘in-principle approval’ to join SPL, FAS responds, revealing the ongoing selection process for new teams in the Singapore Premier League.



SINGAPORE: Four days after Tengah FC, an amateur club, excitedly shared on social media that they had received preliminary approval to join the Singapore Premier League (SPL), the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) responded by clarifying that the selection process for introducing a new team to the league was still underway.

According to a statement from a FAS spokesperson on Wednesday (21 Feb) to local media CNA, acknowledging the circulating speculation, the FAS confirmed that the selection process had not been concluded yet.

“The FAS can confirm that it has yet to complete this exercise and will confirm changes to the clubs participating in the SPL only when this exercise is complete.”

This development follows Tengah FC’s social media posts proudly declaring their “in-principle approval” to participate in the SPL for the 2024/25 season.

In a Facebook post last Saturday, Tengah FC expressed their excitement, proclaiming, ” We are proud to announce that Tengah FC has received the in-principle approval by FAS to compete in the Singapore Premier League 2024/25 season.”

In the same post, the club highlighted their uniqueness, being the second football club to enter the SPL without financial assistance from FAS.

“That’s right, we’re breaking barriers and rewriting the playbook!”

FAS disclosed that it had received expressions of interest from multiple clubs wanting to join the league.

During discussions with these clubs, FAS might issue in-principle acceptances, enabling the clubs to progress with sponsorship and other arrangements.

However, before granting unconditional approval to join the SPL, the club must meet specific and stringent prerequisites, said FAS.

“These prerequisites, which forms the basis of due diligence include – but are not limited to – the ability to meet the Asian Football Confederation Club Licencing requirements, the ability to register and field a competitive team, and crucially, being able to ensure that all operations, associated and salary costs can be covered for the duration of an entire season.”

Tengah FC, established in 2017, participated in the Island Wide League (IWL) in 2023.

In December of the preceding year, the FAS unveiled its initiative to include a 10th club in the Singapore Premier League (SPL).

The primary goal is to elevate the standard of professional football in Singapore by attracting top-tier football talent and fostering substantial fan engagement. FAS aims to achieve this by promoting competitiveness and excellence within the league.

According to a report by the Straits Times, Tengah President Louis Amalorpavanathan clarified the club’s recent social media post, stating it was meant “to engage fans and provide them with hope and excitement.”

Amalorpavanathan emphasized ongoing discussions and clarifications with FAS regarding the club’s participation, asserting that it would be premature to divulge specific details at this juncture.

In response to FAS’s request for proof of funds through an escrow account or a banker’s guarantee, Amalorpavanathan indicated that the club has submitted the necessary documentation and has communicated with FAS.

He said Tengah FC is awaiting a response and has sought an extension for the deadline, which is set for 28 February.

Tengah FC’s job listing highlights the club as new player in coming league

TMSG, a sports, entertainment, and lifestyle blog, brought attention to Tengah FC’s proactive approach by posting job listings on JobStreet for a General Manager.

The listing emphasized Tengah Football Club as the “newest addition to the Singapore Premier League 2024/2025 season.”

TMSG went on to sarcastically suggest that the club “should be issued a POFMA” due to what they deemed a misleading statement.

Netizens emphasize FAS’s responsibility as league kickoff approaches

Observing netizen’s comments, some individuals proposed placing the responsibility on FAS for the perceived delay in the approval process, particularly considering that the league is set to commence in no more than four months.

They argued that new clubs require adequate time to prepare, assemble their optimal team, and potentially secure coaching staff.

A netizen expressed dissatisfaction with what they perceived as FAS’s inadequate planning and football league management capabilities.

“Our Football still have a long way while you closest rivals are well ahead – look at Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines (once upon a time are the minnows ik the region).”

Another netizen sincerely hoped that Tengah FC would succeed in their bid to join the league, rather than introducing another foreign club locally.

TMSG responded by agreeing with the sentiment expressed by the netizen. However, they emphasized the importance of the club demonstrating the ability to manage operations and ensure sustainability without relying on subsidies or government funding.

The netizen then expanded on their viewpoint, noting the transient nature of many local clubs and expressing a desire for the league to prioritize local clubs in developing and nurturing local talents.

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“The primary goal is to elevate the standard of professional football in Singapore by attracting top-tier football talent and fostering substantial fan engagement. FAS aims to achieve this by promoting competitiveness and excellence within the league.” Comment: so says the FAS on the addition of the 10th club for the SPL 1) I understand the new season starts in about 4 months. Isn’t choosing the 10th team at this stage a bit late? 2) if Tengah was issued with the in-principle approval to be the 10th team, pray tell how Tengah is a “top-tier football talent”. 3) now, it seems… Read more »