Asean Super League versus S-League

Asean Super League versus S-League
LionsXII team captain Shahril Ishak in action during a training session.

The consensus between the four fans during the forum was clear.

The prospective ASEAN Super League (ASL) could spell the end for the S-League.

Pencilled in for kick-off in 2015, the ASL is expected to feature teams from all 11 South-east Asian countries.

Details like what kind of teams will make up the ASL and the competition format have yet to be decided.

A clearer picture is expected after the ASEAN Football Federation meets at the end of the year.

Said Warriors FC fan Fakhruddin Rafie, 24: "If we send in a franchise team to compete, then I think it will kill the S-League.

"Because then, the league will be regarded as a sort of third division - after the LionsXII in the MSL (Malaysian Super League) and the ASL - and then Singaporeans and sponsors won't bother with the S-League.

"The S-League will be less of a viable career option to players as well. They won't bother playing for an S-League club any more; they would rather strive to go straight to the ASL."

Tan Hwee Heng, 38, a Geylang supporter, also felt the S-League would be hurt badly.

"The money will be in the ASL. So if the Singapore team in the ASL decide to sign a foreign player like Alessandro Del Piero for instance, the existing S-League fans will likely support that league instead," he said.

"It will raise a lot of interest in local football, but it's a shortcut route. The domestic league will be left further behind."

A better scenario, the group felt, would be if Singapore's representatives in the ASL came from the S-League.

That way, the ASL could operate the same way as the Champions League - the top sides from the domestic leagues in the region will qualify for the prestigious regional tournament the following season.

"That would be a reverse of the relegation idea that the S-League has been considering over the years," said Yip Siu Ming.

"It would help motivate the clubs towards more games, ticket sales and even TV money.

"If S-League clubs represented Singapore in the ASL, it may not be such a bad thing."

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