SINGAPORE - Incompetent - that was the word Fandi Ahmad once used to describe the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
In February, the former national captain attacked the FAS in an interview with The New Paper, saying that the FAS was not quick enough in naming a new national coach after Raddy Avramovic decided to step down on Dec 31 last year.
Although saddened by Fandi's verbal volley, FAS chief Zainudin Nordin insisted that he does not bear any grudges, even though he admitted: "As the president of FAS, I find it a bit sad that the organisation was criticised."
With Fandi submitting his application for the LionsXII head coaching post on Friday, Zainudin told The Sunday Times: "Anybody who applies, we will look at them.
"I think we shouldn't be bogged down by things that happened in the past. Let's decide what's best for Singapore football."
More than 60 applications have been received since the FAS advertised the post on Oct 12, after V. Sundramoorthy had resigned on Oct 6 following two successful seasons.
The Lions XII finished runners-up in the Malaysian Super League last year and won it this year.
After Fandi's public criticism, the FAS eventually hired Bernd Stange, the 65-year-old former coach of East Germany and Belarus, as the new Singapore coach in May.
With Stange now in charge and the Lions showing flickers of grasping the German's high-tempo style of football in the 2-1 Asian Cup qualifier victory over Syria earlier this month, Zainudin believes the FAS' protracted search process was justified.
He said: "Now that we had done our selection process, I would prefer people to say, 'This new guy is not too bad and he's doing something good'.
"The FAS can stand tall and say we are able to do this (selection process) properly and we had selected the best person possible (Stange) under the circumstances."
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