Singapore national football team

Singapore national football team

Infobox National football team
Name = Singapore
Badge = Singapore_FA.gif
Nickname = The Lions
Association = Football Association
of Singapore

Confederation = AFC (Asia)
Coach = flagicon|SER Radojko Avramovic (2003-)
Captain = Indra Sahdan (2007-Present)
Most caps = Malik Awab (123 Caps)
Top scorer = Fandi Ahmad (55 Goals)
Youngest player = Hariss Harun (16 years 7 months and 5 days old)
Home Stadium = National Stadium, Singapore
FIFA Trigramme = SIN
FIFA Rank = 129
1st ranking date = August 1993
FIFA max = 73
FIFA max date = August 1993
FIFA min = 140
FIFA min date = October 2007
Elo Rank = 116

First game = ; April 11, 1953)
Largest win = Flagicon|Singapore Singapore 11 - 0 Laos Flagicon|Laos
(Singapore; January 15, 2007)
Largest loss = Flagicon|Burma|1948 Burma 9 - 0 Singapore Flagicon|Singapore
(Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; November 9, 1969)
World cup apps =
World cup first =
World cup best =
Regional name = AFC Asian Cup
Regional cup apps = 1
Regional cup first = 1984
Regional cup best = Round 1, 1984

The Singapore national football team is the national football (soccer) team of Singapore. The team comes under the organisation of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

To date, the most significant successes of the team have come in the regional ASEAN Football Championship (formerly known as the 'Tiger Cup'), which Singapore has won three times in 1998, 2005 and 2007. In 1998, Singapore beat Vietnam 1-0 in the final to capture the country's first major international football title. In the 2004-5 competition, Singapore defeated Indonesia in a two-leg final 5-2 on aggregate. Singapore successfully retained the trophy in 2007, beating Thailand 3-2 on aggregate in the final.

Although Singapore is widely regarded as a minnow in the international footballing arena, the national team has ground out quite a few upset results and have made it hard for many away teams in recent years. In the 2007 Asian Cup qualifiers, for example, Singapore became the only team to beat Iraq enroute to their Asian Cup winning campaign. Singapore and also drew with China 0-0 at home in 2006. China also narrowly escaped with a 1-0 victory in Tianjin thanks to a last minute penalty. Japan, Uruguay, Denmark and Saudi Arabia have also come away with narrow 2-1 wins in recent times. In September 2007, Singapore almost took the scalp of Gulf Cup champions, UAE but a late equaliser prevented a win for the Lions. In March 2008, Australia became the latest victim when they failed to beat Singapore when the game ended in a goalless draw.

In the FIFA World Rankings, Singapore is currently the number 3 ranked Southeast Asian team behind Thailand and the number 20 in Asia (as of April 2008). Singapore was tagged as the Asian Football Confederation's 'Mover of the Year' in 2005.

In January 2007, Singapore achieved a national record 11-0 win against Laos in an ASEAN Football Championship match. Mohd Noh Alam Shah scored 7 goals in the match.

Singapore's main rival on the international stage is their geographical neighbour, Malaysia, and past matches between these two teams have produced much drama.

All of the players in the Singapore national football team currently play for club teams in Singapore's top professional league, the S.League.

In recent years, Singapore has included several naturalised citizens in its team. Notable foreign-born citizens who have played for Singapore include Egmar Goncalves from Brazil; Mirko Grabovac from Croatia and Itimi Dickson from Nigeria. The current national team also consists of foreign-born citizens such as Daniel Bennett and John Wilkinson from England; Qiu Li and Shi Jiayi from China; Mustafic Fahrudin from Serbia; Precious Emuejeraye and Agu Casmir from Nigeria; and the Bosnian-born former Australian Aleksander Duric.


1921 - 1994

Between 1921 and 1994, the Football Association of Singapore entered a representative side in the Malaysia Cup and the Malaysian League. While this was not the national team "per se" – and in 1980s and 1990s this team included some foreign players as permitted by Malaysian League rules – many Singapore football fans viewed the Malaysia Cup side as being the national team, and the team's exploits in the Malaysian competitions generally drew much more attention than Singapore's participation in other international tournaments. Up to 1994, Singapore won 24 Malaysia Cup titles and 2 Malaysian League titles.

After winning the Malaysia Cup and league double in 1994, the Football Association of Singapore withdrew from the Malaysian competitions following a dispute with the Football Association of Malaysia over gate receipts, and have not been involved since. Singapore subsequently launched its own professional league, the S.League, in 1996, and also began to put much more focus on the performance of its national team in international competitions.

1995 - 1999

With the local football scene still suffering from Malaysia Cup hangover, Singapore won the bronze medal in the 1995 Southeast Asian Games, after crashing out in the semi-finals 1-0 to the hosts and eventual gold medalists, Thailand.

The national team then produced some uninspiring results as they crashed out in the group stages of the 1996 Tiger Cup, which Singapore hosted.

The national team continued their jinx of missing out on the gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1997, losing in the semi-finals again to Indonesia. This time they also missed out on the bronze medal, when they lost out to Vietnam 1-0 in the third-placing match.

However in the 1998 edition of the Tiger Cup, against all odds, Singapore's team led by coach Barry Whitbread stormed through the group stages with victories over Malaysia and the Philippines. In the sem-finals, they beat Indonesia and subsequently edged out hosts Vietnam 1-0 in the final. This was the country's first ever international title.

2000 - 2002

Jan B. Poulsen who was part of the Danish backroom staff in the 1998 World Cup, was appointed the Technical Director of the Football Association of Singapore in 1999. However, due to poor results by Singapore in the 2000 Tiger Cup, coach Vincent Subramaniam was sacked and Poulsen took over as coach in 2001.

2 points out of a possible 18 in the World Cup 2002 qualifiers meant that Poulsen had to deliver in the 2002 Tiger Cup, which was to be held at home, in order to keep his job.

On 18 December 2002, Singapore faced arch-rivals Malaysia in their first game of the Tiger Cup. 40,000 home supporters watched in horror as Singapore crashed 4-0 to their northern neighbours. To this day, the loss remains a major stain on Singapore's international results. Singapore went on to win 2-1 over Laos, but a 1-1 draw in the final group game against Thailand wasn't enough to book a place in the knock-out stages.

Poulsen was sacked following the premature exit of the team from the tournament.

2003 - present

Radojko Avramovic took over as coach of the flailing and deflated Singapore national football team in 2003.

A string of wins in friendlies and a narrow 2-1 loss at home against Japan were signs of the brighter future for Singapore under Avramovic.

Singapore started the 2004 Tiger Cup as underdogs. Many brushed off the team's chances of even making it to the knockout stages. However, a hard-fought 1-1 draw in their first game against hosts Vietnam showed that Singapore meant business. Another draw against Indonesia meant that Singapore needed only to win against minnows Cambodia and Laos to make it to the semi-finals. And they did just that with two thumping wins.

Singapore were drawn with another underdog, Myanmar, in the two-legged semi-finals. Singapore took a 4-3 away lead back home for the second leg. In the ill-tempered second leg, three Myanmar players were sent off and Singapore went on to win 4-2 (8-5 on aggregrate).

Singapore then won the two-legged final against Indonesia 3-1 in the first leg in Jakarta, before winning 2-1 (5-2 on aggregrate) for the second leg in front of a 55,000-strong delirious home crowd. It was Singapore's second Tiger Cup title and there was more to come.

Avramovic then led Singapore into the 2007 Asian Cup qualifiers with a stunning 2-0 victory at home over much-fancied Iraq, courtesy of goals from strikers Khairul Amri and Mohd Noh Alam Shah. However, Singapore failed to build on to this victory and then lost away to the much weaker team from Palestine. The Singapore then took on China away in Tianjin and they held out till the 93rd minute, when then-captain Aide Iskandar conceded a penalty and Shao Jiayi of China dully converted the kick. China came to Singapore for the second meeting and the Singapore defence held out for a 0-0 draw. A subsequent 4-2 loss to Iraq dashed Singapore's hopes of qualifying for the Asian Cup. The Asian Cup qualifying campaign ended with a default 3-0 victory over Palestine as the war-torn country had troubles travelling to Singapore for the match.

For the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship (previously known as the Tiger Cup), Singapore was drawn into a group similar to the one they had in the 2004 competition. The pressure was on for Singapore to deliver at home and they started their defence of the title with an uninspiring 0-0 draw with Vietnam. Singapore then trashed minnows Laos 11-0 to record their largest-ever win, gaining a precious 3 points and an unassailable goal difference. In the final group match, Singapore knocked Indonesia out of the tournament in a tight, fiercely fought 2-2 draw. Singapore met their northern rivals Malaysia in the semi-final. In the first leg, Singapore stole a 1-1 draw away in Shah Alam. In the second leg at Singapore's National Stadium, following another draw, Singapore beat Malaysia in a penalty shoot-out 5-4 following heroics from goalkeeper Lionel Lewis saving the final Malaysian spot kick from Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambri. In the final against Thailand, Singapore won a controversial first leg at home 2-1, and the secured a 1-1 draw in Bangkok thanks to a late strike from Khairul Amri to retain the ASEAN Football Championship trophy.

On the 24 June 2007, only 16 years 7 months and 5 days old, Hariss Harun became the youngest ever player to don the national jersey as he came on in the second half in a friendly against North Korea.

Singapore met Palestine in first round of the FIFA World Cup 2010 Asian Qualifying. Singapore won the first leg 4-0 away in Doha, Qatar thanks to a brace from Shi Jiayi plus goals from John Wilkinson and Noh Alam Shah gave Singapore a massive advantage going into the second leg at the National Stadium on 28 October. However, the Palestinians did not turn up for the game, citing travel problems. Thus, FIFA awarded Singapore with a 3-0 win. Singapore was drawn with Tajikistan in the second round. In the first leg, Singapore's oldest debutant, 37-year-old Aleksandar Duric bagged a brace in his debut for the Lions.

On the 9 November 2007, just hours before the kick off of the World Cup 2010 qualifiers against Tajikistan, then-captain of the national team, Aide Iskandar sensationally retired from international football, and by doing so, he handed down the skipper's armband to Indra.Singapore won the corresponding fixture 2-0 and subsequently drew the return leg 1-1 on 18 November to progress to the group stage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 Asian Qualifying, where they were drawn against Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Uzbekistan. Singapore went into the third round with a genuine chance of advancing to the final group stage of the Asian qualifying section and were poised to give Uzbekistan a run for their money in the race for second place.

As part of the preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers, Singapore will be playing three friendlies with Kuwait, Oman and Jordan on 24, 27 and 31 January 2008 respectively. In the first game, Singapore managed a 2-0 win over Kuwait thanks to Mustafic Fahrudin and Aleksandar Duric.

Singapore kicked off their first ever World Cup Qualifiers in the Third Round inauspiciously by losing to one of Asia's big guns, Saudi Arabia. But the Lions then rallied back and defeated Lebanon 2-0 on home ground with goals from Fazrul Nawaz and Aleksandar Duric. But after losing to Uzbekistan 3-7 and 0-1, Singapore's chances of getting into the 4th Round of the qualifiers are slim although they are still mathematically in contention of qualifying.

Singapore were finally put out of the competition when they lost 2-0 to Saudi at home in a game that Singapore needed to win to stay in contention. In the end Singapore finished third in the group with six points from six games after defeating Lebanon 2-1 in Beirut in their final game.

For the 2008 ASEAN Football Championship held in Indonesia and Thailand from 5th December-28th December, Singapore is drawn in Group A to meet co-hosts Indonesia, Myanmar and the Runners-Up in the Qualifying Round.

For the 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification, Singapore is drawn to meet Iran, Thailand and Jordan in Group E. The qualifying campaign will start in January 2009 and will end in March 2010. It would be a round-robin format on a home and away basis. The top 2 teams in the group would qualify for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Doha, Qatar

Under-23 Team

Singapore uses a team made up of players who are aged 23 years old or below for competitions like the SEA Games and the Merdeka Cup. For competitions like the Olympics and the Asian Games, an Under-23 team is also used but 3 senior players may also be included. The current Under-23 team is mostly comprised of senior national team players like Shahril Ishak and Khairul Amri.

Under-16 Team

Singapore recently came fourth in the first ever AFF U16 Youth Championship. The same team would be representing Singapore in the AFC U-17 Championship 2008 which would take place this October in Uzbekistan. Singapore is grouped with hosts Uzbekistan, Iran and Bahrain. In the qualifying stage, Singapore thrashed Mongolia 8-0, beaten Guam 4-0 and beaten Macau 4-1 before narrowly losing to qualifying hosts China 2-1 to finish 2nd spot in the Qualifying Competition, good enough to seal a place in the Final 16 of Asia.

It would be the second time Singapore took part in this Championships. The first time Singapore took part in this bi-annual competition was in 2006 when Singapore was declared hosts and thus had an automatic qualification for the team.


In modern times Singapore's kit has been supplied by Admiral, Puma, Umbro, Grand Sport, and Tiger. In November 2006, just before the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship kicked off, Nike signed a year's deal of kit sponsorship worth SGD$1,000,000. Nike still supplies the kit for the Singapore national team as of now.

Singapore had initially worn sky blue shirts and shorts as their home kit. In the late 80's, The Lions adopted the national colours of red and white for their home kit while they kept blue as the colour for the away kit. This tradition stayed on through the 90's. However, in 2006, kit supplier, Nike reverted the national team's colours back to blue as its home kit and white as the change kit, for the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship. The move raised a few eyebrows since red had been the traditional colour for nearly two decades. But right after the ASEAN Football Championships, red was the colour again and it is still the colour of the national team jerseys as of now.

Before 2006, Singapore had been using the same kit for nearly 5 years, supplied by Tiger who had a tie-in with Diadora. Now with the team under sponsorship of American sportswear giant, Nike, the kits are expected to be changed every 2 years. The previous home kit (used during the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship) made its final appearance on 4 February 2007 against Thailand. The current kit was first used on 24 June 2007 against DPR Korea. The jersey has white trims at the edge of the sleeves and around the neck. Unlike most national teams which use the country's footballing association as a logo on the kit, the national flag of Singapore takes up the spot on the left chest instead while a white Nike logo is on the right chest and. This symmetry also applies to the away jersey. The numbering and lettering font and colour is the same as the previous two home jerseys.

On 13 February 2008, a leaked photo from a photo shoot surfaced on the internet showing the unreleased kit showing national captain, Indra Sahdan Daud modelling the kit with Hariss Harun. The new kit was officially announced on 20 March 2008, featuring tight-fit jerseys in the two traditional team colours: Atom red for the home games and Marina blue for the away matches. The kit was worn for the first time by the national team in the international Friendly against Australia in preparation for the World Cup 2010 qualifier home game against Lebanon on 26 March 2008 [ [ ] ] .

Home stadium

Before the Kallang National Stadium was opened in 1973, from 1932, Jalan Besar Stadium hosted all home games of Singapore's representative side's which participated in the Malaysia Cup.

On the 11th of April 1953, Singapore played its first international game, hosting South Korea in a friendly that Singapore lost 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Jalan Besar Stadium continued to host Singapore's Malaysia Cup and international matches till the 55,000 capacity Kallang National Stadium opened in 1973. From then on, all of Singapore's representative side's home games in the Malaysia Cup and the national team home matches were played at the Kallang National Stadium.

However, the National Stadium was slated for demolishment in early 2007 to make way for the new Singapore Sports Hub which was to be completed in 2011. Singapore played Australia in what was supposedly the last game ever to be played at that stadium. However, due to some delays caused by the addition of new plans for the Singapore Sports Hub, the National Stadium continued to host more of the Singapore's matches. Since the supposed 'last game', the stadium has hosted 5 more matches, and it was also be the venue for 2 more World Cup 2010 qualifier matches which was played in June 2008.

The stadium was finally closed once and for all after the World Cup 2010 qualifier game against Saudi Arabia. Singapore is slated to play all of their future matches at the Jalan Besar Stadium, although they are possibilities of having the Marina Bay Floating Stadium as a venue for home games, provided FIFA gives Singapore the green light once the artificial turf of that stadium passes the lab testing from FIFA officials.

From the start of 2004, Singapore has played its home matches in 4 different stadiums all over Singapore.
* Kallang National Stadium - 24
* Jalan Besar Stadium - 7
* Choa Chu Kang Stadium - 1
* Jurong West Stadium - 1

*figures correct as of July 12 2008

World Cup Record

* 1930 to 1974 - "Did not enter"
* 1978 to 2010 - "Did not qualify"

Asian Cup Record

* 1956 - "Did not enter"
* 1960 - "Did not qualify"
* 1964 - "Did not enter"
* 1968 - "Did not qualify"
* 1972 - "Did not enter"
* 1976 - "Did not qualify"
* 1980 - "Did not qualify"
* 1984 - Round 1
* 1988 - "Did not enter"
* 1992 to 2007 - "Did not qualify"

ASEAN Football Championship Record

This competition was formerly known as the Tiger Cup
* 1996 - Group Stage
* 1998 - Champions
* 2000 - Group Stage
* 2002 - Group Stage
* 2004 - Champions
* 2007 - Champions

Asian Games Record (Under-23 Team Since 2002)

* 1951 - Did Not Enter
* 1954 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1958 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1962 - Did Not Enter
* 1966 - 4th Position
* 1970 - Did Not Enter
* 1974 - Did Not Enter
* 1978 - Did Not Enter
* 1982 - Did Not Enter
* 1986 - Did Not Enter
* 1990 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1994 - Did Not Enter
* 1998 - Did Not Enter
* 2002 - Did Not Enter
* 2006 - Eliminated in Preliminary Round

EA Games Record (Under-23 Team since 2001)

* 1959 - Did Not Enter
* 1961 - Did Not Enter
* 1963 - Cancelled
* 1965 - Eliminated at Preliminary Round
* 1967 - Did Not Enter
* 1969 - NA
* 1971 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1973 - 4th Position
* 1975 - Bronze Medallists
* 1977 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1979 - Eliminated at Preliminary Round
* 1981 - 4th Position
* 1983 - Silver Medallists
* 1985 - Silver Medallists
* 1987 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 1989 - Silver Medallists
* 1991 - Bronze Medallists
* 1993 - Bronze Medallists
* 1995 - Bronze Medallists
* 1997 - 4th Position
* 1999 - 4th Position
* 2001 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 2003 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 2005 - Eliminated at Group Stage
* 2007 - Bronze Medallists

ingapore Squad

Latest squad

For the friendly against Vietnam in preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup.


Previous squads

* Tiger Cup 1998
* Tiger Cup 2004
* Tiger Cup 2006/2007

Backroom staff


ee also

* Football Association of Singapore
* Young Lions
* Singapore women's national football team
* Singapore M-League Team


External links

* [ Football Association of Singapore website]
* [ S.League official website]
* [ Singapore's premier football community]

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