SINGAPORE – Nearly 65 percent of Singaporeans who took part in a survey commissioned by Yahoo Southeast Asia does not currently support local football clubs or the Singapore national team.
This is despite the fact that 80 percent of the 2,000 respondents believe football is still a part of Singaporean culture, and even around 40 percent believe that football plays a crucial role in shaping the identity of the city-state.
The “Yahoo Singapore Football Research” survey, conducted by international research firm YouGov, was released on Monday, August 7th, with the launch of the second season of the unique football vodcast “Footballing Weekly.” Insights into Singaporeans’ perceptions of popular sports.
Does the general public still care about the elite Singapore football scene? Do they see Singapore professional football as a viable career? Or do they just settle for watching their favorite English Premier League teams on TV or when they show up for pointless pre-season friendlies?
Such questions led to some interesting findings from the survey.
Football is vital but support for the national team is dwindling
While football has long been touted as the sport with the greatest unifying force among Singapore residents and is played by people of all races and ages, the clear truth is that the national team has struggled for good results for much of the past. ten years.
While nearly 40 percent of those surveyed believe that football is a crucial part of Singapore’s cultural identity, such sentiment is slowly eroding.
The survey found that while Baby Boomers (45 percent) and Gen X (43 percent) advocated the importance of football, that enthusiasm waned somewhat among Gen Y (35 percent) and Gen Z (37 percent).
This could mean that they prefer to support popular and successful clubs around the world, such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal or Real Madrid, to watch these teams live on TV or when they come to Singapore for pre-season tours.
In contrast, the Singapore Premier League (SPL) consistently draws small crowds. While the national team can still gather around 10,000 to 20,000 fans, the Lions, who haven’t won regional tournaments in over a decade, have little to celebrate.
However, the Yahoo poll revealed that 70 percent of those surveyed would be encouraged to support a local football club or national team – provided the teams meet at least one of the criteria.
Here are the top three criteria the survey identifies: talented and skilled players (35 percent), hobbies or interests (30 percent); and a strong team spirit (28%).
Free the Roar! not yet convincing project
The current indifferent support for the national team is the government’s Unleash the Roar! Coming in the middle of the Lions’ plans to revive their wealth! project.
The project is a far-reaching proposal to improve the range of talent from schools, grassroots academies and centers of excellence and enhance Lions’ competitive performance. While the government has not officially set a concrete goal for the realization of the project, it is well known among fans that participation in the 2034 World Cup is seen as a “soft goal” to try and achieve.
Not that fans are confident that this goal can be achieved. According to a Yahoo poll, less than half of local football supporters – 39 percent – believe Singapore will be represented at the World Cup in the next 10 years.
Among respondents who said they did not support local football, this figure drops to just 9 percent. And 39 percent of all respondents feel that the current support for the development of football in Singapore is not enough to make it successful.
Unleash the Roar! project failed to convince the majority of Singaporeans that it could return the Lions to their successful trophy-winning days.
Same club support between partners, spouses, families
The survey also revealed some fun facts about fan support. When asked whether it is important for their spouse, spouse, or family to support the same football team as them, nearly half (43 percent) of respondents believe it is not a very important factor, while 38 percent are neutral on the matter.
However, fans who state that they support the SPL have a different opinion: 45 percent believe their spouse, partner or family should keep the same football team.
Serie A (35%), UEFA Europa League (34%), Bundesliga (31%), UEFA Champions League (29 percent), La Liga (29 percent) and English Premier League (26 percent).
Does this mean SPL fans are more ardent in support of football? These and similar survey findings will be discussed in future episodes of “Footballing Weekly.” So don’t forget to listen to the vodcasts broadcast on Yahoo Southeast Asia’s YouTube channel on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
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