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Why Planet Fc Should Not Join S League

1179 words - 5 pages

14 years and four World Cup tournaments ago, Roger Milla, Thomas N'Kono, Francois Omam-Biyick and Emile Mbouh Mbouh were part of the Cameroon team who captured the footballing world's imagination and helped to re-define the African game.Led by their flamboyant, talismanic striker Roger Milla, the Indomitable Lions stormed to the quarter-finals of Italia '90, bringing to attention and acclaim the tremendous potential of teams from the African continent.Today, Planet FC - a team purportedly from Cameroon's second division, stands on the verge of gaining a passport to play in the S.League next season.It has been close to a month since the league's officials spoke excitedly of the 'buzz' surrounding this African club's desire to play in Singapore, and both fans and those in the football industry alike have taken sides in the debate for or against the entry of a third foreign club in the S.League, approaching its 10th season next year.Is there a need for a third foreign club in Singapore? I say: yes, absolutely, why not? What do we have to lose? Bring the Africans into the S.League and let us see what these guys are truly made of.In 2003, the league witnessed the debut of its first foreign club in the form of Chinese side Sinchi FC. Besides two years' of lacklustre performances on the pitch and all sorts of histrionics off it, they have achieved little despite the support of many sponsors.But all credit to them for having taken the gamble to start from scratch in the S.League. Hopefully their fortunes will take an upward swing next season, or else it is probably the end of the road for the pioneer foreign team in the S.League.This year, J-League side Albirex Niigata sent their feeder squad here to form a team and polish potential gems in the competitive arena of our league. After a great deal of pre-season hype and a great start which saw them defeat former league champions SAFFC and Geylang United, the White Swans finished fifth, slightly off their initial target of a top three finish.The presence of Sinchi and Albirex has brought a new dimension into the S.League. In terms of technical standards, some of the players from both teams were gems that have been touted as potential targets for the Football Association of Singapore's Foreign Talent Scheme.New sponsors also stepped into the picture to support these two teams, as have a new set of fans who have been brought into the league along with Sinchi and Albirex. The inclusion of Sinchi and Albirex has been in my opinion a win-win situation for Singapore football.Of course, their entry has coincided with the exit of local clubs Gombak United, Sembawang Rangers, Sengkang Marine and Jurong FC, all of whom withdrew from the league due to vast accumulated debts.But their withdrawal from the league was a separate issue from the debut of the foreign teams. If the four local teams had not sustained debts too heavy to bear, the S.League could well have been seeing 15 teams instead of a slim-line 10 playing...

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