By Les Tan/Red Sports
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 — The Singapore LionsXII will not face the threat of relegation from the Malaysia Super League to the second tier Malaysia Premier League, according to TODAY.
This immunity will last for four seasons — 2012 to 2015 — and is part of the agreement between the Football Association of Singapore and the Football Association of Malaysia announced in July 2011.
However, at the time of the announcement, this was not revealed.
From a sporting perspective, this is unfair to the other teams taking part in the league. Why should the Singapore team be immune from relegation, especially when they are not ‘immune’ from taking home the RM750,000 (S$306,000) prize money if they win the league?
While Singapore head coach V Sundramoorthy believes his squad is good enough for a top-five finish in the league to render relegation moot, they should still face the fear and anxiety of relegation.
Without that fear, we may get the situation where the squad have nothing to play for if they are out of the running for the top spot towards the end of the season. That in turn may unfairly impact the chances of teams trying to stay up.
Giving the team immunity is like allowing someone to stay in university even with failing grades. It is not fair to everyone else who worked hard to stay in.
There cannot be one rule for one team, and another rule for 13 other teams.
LIONSXII Squad List
Goalkeepers: Izwan Mahbud, Hyrulnizam Jumaat, Al-Faiz Ishak
Defenders: Safuwan Baharudin, Juma’at Jantan, Shaiful Esah, Irwan Shah, Shakir Hamzah, Sevki Sha’ban, Shahir Hamzah, Madhu Mohana, Baihakki Khaizan
Midfielders: Hariss Harun, Safirul Sulaiman, Izzdin Shafiq, Isa Halim, Taufiq Rahmat, Raihan Rahman, Shahdan Sulaiman, Yasir Hanapi, Shahril Ishak, Firdaus Kasman, Pravin Guanasagaran
Forwards: Khairul Amri, Gabriel Quak, Fazli Ayob, Khairul Nizam, Agu Casmir, Sufian Anuar
Head Coach: V. Sundramoorthy
Asst Coach: Kadir Yahya