Stange denies Malaysian report

Stange denies Malaysian report
National football coach Bernd Stange reacts during the match between Singapore's Under-23 (Young Lions) and Laos's Under-23 at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games held in Naypyidaw, Myanmar on 8 December 2013.

SINGAPORE- Singapore coach Bernd Stange has denied telling Malaysian sports portal 24/7 that he no longer turns up for S-League matches because "there is nothing to watch when you see 10 foreigners on the field who eclipse the locals in every department".

The German, who is with the Under-23 team at the South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, appeared shocked last night when The New Paper asked him about the online report.

Having just witnessed Aide Iskandar's team play out a dismal 1-1 draw with Laos in their opening game, he said: "I do not know what people put out on social media or the Internet and I don't know where this comes from.

"There was a press conference yesterday but I said nothing of this sort."

On Saturday, Stange had attended the pre-match press conference for the Laos match in place of team coach Aide, who was putting his team through their paces at the time.

Stange insisted the S-League plays an important role as a "base" for the national team, and added that he had been in discussions with league chief executive Lim Chin on how it could be improved next season.

In a report written by veteran Malaysian journalist Rizal Abdullah, Stange allegedly said that the S-League was full of foreign players who deprive local talent of their playing chances.

Rizal could not be reached last night, but Stange said: "People should judge me only on what I do, not on what they read on the Internet. Or else, how can I protect myself?

"Everyone in Singapore who goes to matches knows you see me and Harald (Irmscher, national teams trainer) at every S-League match.

"I sit with you at almost every game."

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