DOHA: The Saudi Arabian Football Federation has signed a two-year memorandum of understanding with its Singapore counterpart to develop the game.
The SAFF and the FAS, or Football Association of Singapore, will focus on five main areas: youth national teams, women’s football, technical and professional exchanges, referees and technology.
The SAFF’s President Yasser Al-Misehal and FAS Acting President Bernard Tan marked the start of the partnership on the eve of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
As part of the pact, youth national teams from the Asian countries will participate in friendly matches and tournaments. The new partnership will also offer opportunities for Singapore’s women’s national teams to take part in training camps at the Kingdom’s football facilities.
“We are extremely pleased to embark on an exciting new chapter of collaboration with our friends at the Football Association of Singapore. As a fellow AFC member … our relationship stretches (back) many years, and we’re proud to have strengthened and formalized it today,” said Al-Misehal.
He commended the sport’s progress in Singapore and highlighted the shared ambition of the parties. “Football in Singapore is going through a transformation and we both share massive ambitions for the future to nurture male and female talent and compete on the biggest global stages.”
He said the FAS’ “Unleash the Roar!” project was similar to the Kingdom’s 10-year football transformation strategy launched last year. “It represents an excellent example of grassroots development and how multiple entities can come together to grow the beautiful game in the country. We look forward to a bright future together and to continuously share knowledge and best practice across the women’s game, youth development, refereeing and technology.”
Commenting on the agreement, Tan said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with our Saudi Arabian counterparts in order to help Singapore’s football progress. Saudi Arabia (has) one of Asia’s best men’s football teams at youth level; they are the reigning Asian champions at both under-23 and under-19 level, and also qualified for the most recent Olympic Games and next year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup.”
“In terms of women’s football, their senior national team played their first-ever match earlier this February and we believe that both parties hold similar aspirations and goals for the future of the women’s game.”
“With SAFF’s expertise in football development at both youth and senior levels, we are confident that this MoU will be a beneficial and fruitful one, and are fully committed to actively cooperating and collaborating on a regular basis to strengthen our excellent relations,” Tan said.