Singapore - He was only 17 when he joined the national team. The following year, he scored the winning goal against Selangor FC, helping Singapore FA clinch the 1980 Malaysia Cup title. Local football legend Fandi Ahmad's fate was bound to be intertwined with that of Singapore football, even more so years after his prime days.
Last October, Fandi Ahmad was appointed by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to head the training of young footballers under 20 years old. It is a task he takes seriously, seeing that need to keep teenage footballers in the team, and transit them to the national team.
Speaking on the feasibility of being a footballer in Singapore, Fandi passionately urges, "(If) Kids here want to be players, we must give them hope. The parents must give them hope, and the people and everybody must support the sports."
He believes that studies and sports can go hand in hand, and that any child with talent should give sports a shot while they can. "If we keep losing good athletes to studies, I think we don't need all the stadiums, we don't need all the facilities," he laments.
About "The Newsmaker":
"The Newsmaker" (封面人物) is one of 10 SPH-produced short form digital video series as part of a pilot Public Service Broadcast initiative. In this 13-part series, people who have made news headlines in the past share with the host Fred Lai (Content Producer, Chinese Media Group Digital) how the news events changed their lives and how they have been coping since then. All episodes come with English subtitles.
This series is also available on the zaobao.sg website and mobile app.