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Sundram steps down as Lions coach after just three wins in 23 games

The FAS said it will make an announcement on Sundram’s replacement in due course. — TODAY pic
The FAS said it will make an announcement on Sundram’s replacement in due course. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, April 10 — After almost two years of torrid results, V. Sundramoorthy has stepped down as Singapore national football head coach.

In a media release yesterday evening, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said the 52-year-old has agreed to leave his post by mutual consent.

Sundram’s exit draws the curtains on a disappointing 23-month stint that saw the national team win just three games out of 23 “A” international matches played, with 15 defeats and five draws. The Lions were winless for the entire 2017.

Victories against Myanmar (1-0), Cambodia (1-0) and Maldives (3-2) were scant rewards for a football-mad nation who can only cling on to memories of four Asean Football Federation (AFF) titles (1998, 2004, 2007 and 2012).

“It has been an honour to have been given the opportunity to lead the National Team,” said Sundram, who was appointed national head coach in May 2016. “It has been an incredible learning experience for me and I have fond memories of working with the players and my colleagues at the FAS.

“I am also grateful to the support given by the FAS Council, the players as well as the fans, and I wish the team the very best as they go on to prepare for the AFF Suzuki Cup later this year.”

A forward of dazzling ability during his playing days, Sundram was a crowd favourite and a key member of Singapore’s 1993 “Dream Team” alongside Fandi Ahmad.

Yet, his attacking instincts as a player failed to shine through as a coach. During his tenure, the team scored a paltry 14 goals and conceded 39.

“Sundram has for many years been one of Singapore’s biggest football personalities,” said FAS president Lim Kia Tong. “The role of the head coach of our national team is a demanding task and we recognise that Sundram gave his all in that role.

“We extend our appreciation to Sundram for his contributions to the national team and wish him all the best as he pursues other opportunities.”

The FAS said it will make an announcement on Sundram’s replacement in due course. Young Lions coach Fandi is widely expected to take over on an interim basis. — TODAY

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