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Singapore students can pick up football, up their game through ambitious programme by FIFA

Schools can turn to this programme to help students who want to up their game or pick up the sport.

SINGAPORE: Primary and secondary school students in Singapore will now have more opportunities to play football under an ambitious programme created by football governing body FIFA. 

The programme, called Football for Schools (F4S), aims to make the sport accessible to more students and teach them relevant life skills through fun football sessions. 

The move, which will incorporate football activities into the country’s education system, is in line with the Unleash The Roar! initiative, a national movement which aims to raise local football standards, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth on Saturday (Mar 4). 

Observers said it is a strong boost for local football. 


Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth, said the road to high performance football, as with most other sports, starts from young. 

“The top footballers that we know and love today – Ronaldo, Messi, and our very own Fandi Ahmad right here in Singapore – fell in love with the sport and found their passion from a very young age,” he added. 

“Therefore, Unleash The Roar! is working towards building a strong base of players… and developing them through coaching, structured guidance.”

Through the use of an interactive application, which is open to all to download, teachers and coaches can effectively teach players how to dribble and tackle, among other skills. 

The children also learn important life skills such as communication, leadership and managing their emotions, said FIFA’s Football for Schools director Fatimata Sidibe. 

“Emotions are really important. What we are training now is that when they win, they have to win with humility. When they lose, they have to lose with fairplay. 

“So we are teaching values, which are not only Singaporean values but also worldwide values.”

Besides the app, FIFA has supplied other resources to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to help run the programme locally.

Apart from a one-off payment of US$50,000, FIFA has also provided 1,820 high-quality footballs for the kids to use and enjoy, whether rain or shine.


Schools can turn to F4S to help students who want to up their game or pick up the sport.

Acting FAS president Bernard Tan said: “Especially when we have a football programme that is outside the school or regular time, this becomes a very good resource for the schools to use. 

“We want to reach a stage especially in football, where anybody who wants to play the game should not be restricted.”

He added that the resources will allow more students to enjoy the game, even if they may not necessarily have the skills to qualify for the school team. 

“Most importantly, I think increasingly we need to bring smiles to our kids,” he said. “We need to make sure that one of the joys of growing up is to really have fun and play with your friends.”

Singapore is the 45th country to have this programme, a collaboration between FIFA and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that aims to benefit more than 200 nations.

Former Singapore international player Baihakki Khaizan, who is a special projects lead and ambassador at FAS, said the idea is to get everyone to play football. 

“I think everybody stands a chance to play football properly, this time, with proper rules and all that,” he added. “So I think there's going to be a huge participation from the ground.”

Source: CNA/ca(dn)


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