Aide could return to FAS

Aide could return to FAS
PHOTO: The New Paper

He dramatically quit, minutes after the Singapore Under-23s lost 1-0 to their Indonesian counterparts and were knocked out of the SEA Games on home soil last month.

Team coach Aide Iskandar was clearly frazzled at the post-match press conference at the Jalan Besar Stadium, angry and frustrated that the cherished football gold was in tatters, and possibly upset over all that had gone on before, in terms of the Under-23s' preparation.

But the former Singapore captain could return to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in a non-coaching capacity.

So said FAS president Zainudin Nordin, on the sidelines of yesterday's draw for the Lion City Cup at Oasia Hotel.

Minutes after Aide informed the media of his decision to resign on June 11, Zainudin said in a statement that he intended to persuade the former defender to change his mind.

The football chief yesterday said he was leaving it up to Aide to decide what role he wants to return in.

"We are in talks with him," said Zainudin. "I think Aide can still contribute. I will leave it to him as to how he wants to contribute to local football, and let him have his short break.

"We'll continue to talk to him, engage him, and maybe after Hari Raya we'll have further updates."

Word going round local football circles is that Aide has been offered a management role within FAS, possibly as head of national teams.

In that capacity, among other things, he would have input in the make-up of FAS teams, such as the Courts Young Lions and LionsXII.

Whether the 40-year-old will accept the position is another matter, after the SEA Games debacle and his apparent frustration.

The decision to allow senior Under-23 players Faris Ramli and Sahil Suhaimi to join the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League instead of the Courts Young Lions in the S.League - the team were effectively the SEA Games side - at the start of the year was controversial as the duo were vital for the push for a medal.

Eyebrows raised

The decision to drop Iqbal Hussein from the SEA Games squad also raised eyebrows as the striker was a long-time member of the team.

When contacted last night, Aide would only say: "I'm weighing all options for now during my break.

"Deep down, I have Singapore football at heart, whatever role it is (he is considering)."

When TNP asked Zainudin whether Aide could return in a non-coaching post, he said: "We are exploring all possibilities and letting him tell us what he is comfortable with, if he wants to come back.

"Our doors are open. We believe he can still contribute."

This article was first published on July 11, 2015.
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