SINGAPORE: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Monday (Sep 3) announced that Yazeen Buhari has been confirmed as its general secretary with effect from Sep 1.
Yazeen, 40, has been the association's acting general secretary since the start of the year after Winston Lee stepped down from the position. Lee had spent almost 10 years in the role.
The FAS said then that a "deliberate search process encompassing internal and external candidates will ensue before a permanent appointment is announced".
Yazeen was previously the association's head of development and planning, before he joined the Asian Football Confederation's planning and strategy department.
He also had stints with Sport Singapore as an assistant director and the Singapore Athletics as a general manager, and was a FIFA referee between 2011 and 2013.
Yazeen returned to the FAS in August 2017 to take on the role of deputy general secretary. His appointment then was the first major one the FAS council made following its election in April last year.
FAS president Lim Kia Tong said that Yazeen had "proved to be more than capable of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities" of a general secretary.
"Since Yazeen's tenure as the acting general secretary, the executive committee and I have observed him and in addition to his exemplary leadership, he has also shown he is decisive, proactive and understands the complexity of the running the administration of a football association, especially during this period of transition," he said.
"... We are confident that he is well-positioned to continue his leadership in his confirmed role."
Yazeen said he was grateful for the trust and confidence the FAS has shown in him. He added that he is aware of the expectations that the public has of Singapore football.
"Together with my team, alongside the FAS Council, we will continue working tirelessly to re-establish strong foundations to lift Singapore football once more," said Yazeen.
"We have to ensure football in Singapore remains fit and relevant for its purpose and I am glad our stakeholders are on board this long challenging journey ahead of us."
Singapore football has not enjoyed the best of times in recent years.
The national team ended 2017 without any wins, and fell to its lowest-ever position of 173 in FIFA's world rankings in October last year. The 16-month winless drought was only snapped in March this year, with Singapore currently ranked 169.
The Lions also ended their Asian Cup qualifiers without a win.
Meanwhile, several national youth sides have endured poor performances this year. These include the Under-19 side, who suffered thrashings to Laos, Thailand and Indonesia in the ASEAN Football Federation U-19 championship.
The Singapore U-23 team also failed to get the nod from the Singapore National Olympic Council to compete in the Asian Games after their results fell short of the criteria set.