Football: ASEAN united for Super League

Football: ASEAN united for Super League
VISION: FAS president Zainudin Nordin (far left) believes the S.League, the LionsXII and a Singapore team in the ASL can coexist.

It has been eight years since it was first revealed that the idea of an ASEAN Super League (ASL) was being explored.

From that time in 2007 when the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) made the announcement, through to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) annual general meeting last September, when president Zainudin Nordin revealed his team would drive the project for launch in 2016, there was intermittent chatter that certain FAs in the region were not behind the competition.

Some wondered why the likes of the Thai and Malaysia football associations would be behind the ASL when it could possibly detract from their own domestic leagues, which were growing.

In an interview with The New Paper, Zainudin emphatically quashed all speculation when he stated that all countries in South-east Asia have agreed to the formation of the ASL, which is on course to kick off in 2016.

Zainudin, who is leading the committee that is working on the ASL blueprint, revealed that they were now waiting on world football's governing body Fifa to sanction the competition.

"We are making good progress and will likely get a clear indication from Fifa soon," said Zainudin.

"The ASEAN Football Confederation has approved it and we have all the member associations of ASEAN on board, including Thailand. The Thai FA president is in full support of the ASL.

"When Fifa signs off on it, we can discuss the structure and schedule of the competition."

If given the nod by Fifa, the ASL will mean an even more crowded football calendar - with Singapore having to fit in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League and quite possibly the LionsXII's continued participation in the Malaysian Super League (MSL).

Zainudin revealed that the ASL will run from seven to nine months, although he admitted that some FAs differed on when exactly the competition should start.

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