Final whistle: Fandi Ahmad leaves FAS after 7 years

During his tenure, Fandi Ahmad played a role in developing and identifying youth talent.
PHOTO: The Straits Times/Kua Chee Siong

SINGAPORE - After a seven-year stint with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Singapore football legend Fandi Ahmad will be parting ways with the organisation following the completion of his contract as its head of elite youth on Thursday (June 30).

In a press release, the FAS said both parties had mutually agreed on this arrangement after Fandi expressed his intention to spend more time with his family.

Fandi said: "Having turned 60 recently, I feel it is an opportune time for me to spend more time with my family and explore other challenges. I am grateful that FAS has respected my decision.

"I will be leaving the organisation with a heavy heart as I have made countless good memories and forged friendships with many colleagues here."

Fandi's time with the FAS began in 2014, when he was appointed head coach of the now-defunct LionsXII and led the team to the Malaysia FA Cup title the following season.

After the LionsXII disbanded, Fandi remained in FAS as a staff coach until he was appointed as the head coach (youth) in 2016.

He then took charge of the Young Lions at the start of 2018 and was subsequently appointed as the interim men's national team head coach in May, leading the senior side at the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup 2018 tournament.

During his tenure, Fandi also has played a role in developing and identifying youth talent by giving opportunities to players such as Jacob Mahler, Naqiuddin Eunos, Nur Adam Abdullah, Saifullah Akbar and Zulqarnaen Suzliman.

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Those players were also part of the Under-22 squad that Fandi guided to their best-ever showing in the 2019 Asian Football Confederation U-23 Championship qualifiers, where the team finished second in their group with five points.

The squad then went on to claim the Merlion Cup after beating Thailand by a single goal, scored by his son Ikhsan.

Fandi led the Under-22s at the 2019 SEA Games in Manila in his final coaching assignment and has served his current role as part of a contract extension since 2020.

FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari said: "On behalf of the FAS, we would like to place on record our utmost thanks to Fandi for his various contributions and service to the organisation over the past seven years.

"I have had the privilege of working with him and have seen first-hand how he inspired and uplifted both his colleagues and players under his tutelage.

"We are all grateful for his hard work and I am pretty confident Fandi will continue to be involved with our football in some way after his much-deserved break."

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.