Speech by Mr Zainudin Nordin at the Reception for Singapore National Football Team
RECEPTION FOR SINGAPORE NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM
AFF SUZUKI CUP 2012 CHAMPIONS
SATURDAY, 5TH JANUARY 2013, 2.45PM
SPEECH BY MR ZAINUDIN NORDIN
PRESIDENT, FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION OF SINGAPORE
Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam
President of Singapore
Mr Lawrence Wong
Acting Minister for Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Mr Winston Lee
Football Association of Singapore
Coach Radojko Avramovic and the Singapore National Football Team
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good afternoon.
2. First of all, I would like to thank President and Mrs Tan for hosting the Singapore National Football Team and FAS staff this afternoon.
3. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Singapore National Football Team for achieving a milestone by clinching the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup for a record fourth time last month. The Lions have proved beyond doubt that they are the best footballing team in this region.
4. Apart from the victory, the Lions have impressed with their die-hard determination and their team spirit also captured the attention of Singaporeans from all walks of life. It was indeed a pleasure to see the Lions putting up a persevering display, as they covered every yard of the pitch to effectively shut out the oppositions throughout the tournament.
5. As you would have observed in recent weeks, the entire nation cheered as one people when the Lions overcame all odds to clinch the trophy. As several readers mentioned in their letters to the forum pages recently, the determination that the team demonstrated during the past year embodies the Singapore Spirit of never giving up despite the odds.
6. The evolution of the Lions into champions shows that the development of Singapore football is on the right track. We must capitalise on the success and the football fever to continue to deliver greater achievements in all aspects of Singapore football, including the area of youth development, where our young players matched up with top quality opponents from South America and Europe in the recent Lion City Cup and the NexLions competitions.
7. As we have always emphasised, football excellence is one of the nine key pillars of the Strategic Plan. While we are encouraged by FIFA’s assessment and comments that we have progressed well in most of the nine areas spelt out in the FAS’ Strategic Plan 2010-2015, we need to continue to work hard so as to strive towards achieving our goals, which FIFA Technical Director Jean-Michel Bénézet described as “ambitious but attainable and realistic”, in all the key pillars.
8. Apart from fulfilling footballing objectives, we will also continue to work with stakeholders, including corporate sponsors, to secure the necessary resources so as to expand our various initiatives aimed at using football to enhance social and community bonding. As Mr Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth said, “football is the only sport where you can really mobilise the whole nation”.
9. Once again, I would like to congratulate Coach Raddy for his sterling contributions throughout his 9-year tenure with the Lions, and the rest of the team at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for their hard work and commitment to the growth of football in Singapore.
10. We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to President and Mrs Tan for attending our local football matches regularly. We appreciate your support and we look forward to welcoming you at our matches this year.
11. We also hope that corporations will view sports, including football, as a key platform to drive brand awareness and equity. Their support will facilitate our ongoing journey to raising standards in all footballing aspects and also enable us to expand our community and outreach initiatives aimed at using sports as a strategy for nation building.
12. We look forward to the continued support from our stakeholders including clubs, sponsors, government agencies, media, fans, volunteers, players and parents. Let us work together to further promote and develop the game.
13. On this note, I wish everyone a great afternoon ahead