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Football: FAS Technical Director Resigns Owing to Personal and Health Issues Brought On by COVID-19

On November 9, the technical director of the Football Association of Singapore Joseph Palatsides will resign at the end of the year from the organization due to health and personal issues brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Official Announcement

The official announcement came just six months after the association revealed in June that Mr. Palatsides had signed a deal to extend his contract until 2023 for two years.

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In a news release, FAS president Lim Kia Tong remarked, “The FAS put the well-being of all of its staffs, which was even more critical in the COVID-19 period. It is heartbreaking that we must part ways with Joseph, but given the conditions, we must make this painful decision.”

Time in FAS

In May 2019, Mr. Palatsides was hired to be the FAS technical director to preside over the improvement of the football industry in Singaporepool odds.

During his time, Mr. Palatsides had built the solid groundwork for an interconnected goal along with the national coaches which included Young Lions’ manager Philippe Aw and men’s national team coach Tatsuma Toshida.

Mr Lim continued, “He has also participated in the development of excellent young teams, and women’s football, as well as further improving youth development routes and coaching facilities.”

Temporary Replacement

The association said that the search for the replacement for Palatsides will begin immediately and the FAS reassured that the association will carefully assess the potential candidates before making their final decision.

In the meantime, the position of technical director will be held temporarily by Mr. Aw of Young Lions while the search for the replacement is ongoing. 

Sad Decision

“It’s been a wonderful opportunity to be a member of this organization for the previous two and a half years, and I am grateful for the FAS Council and leadership’s support,” Mr. Palatsides stated.

“I apologize and regret that the current COVID-19 circumstances have compelled me to make the difficult choice to stop this cooperation prematurely.”

Mr Palatsides continued, “I take solace in the fact that the staff I’m leaving behind with the FAS is made up of devoted and driven professionals who are capable of continuing the goal of enhancing Singapore football.”

Mr. Lim said in a Zoom press conference on Tuesday that Mr. Palatsides is facing unprecedented difficulties regarding the pandemic to search for opportunities back at home.

He added, “We thought that we have to reluctantly set him free and it is for the sake of the football community in Singapore.”

Personal Reasons

During a press conference in Australia, Mr. Paltsides refused to disclose the personal and health reasons that resulted in his departure to the association but he said that he will continue his commitment to FAS and Singaporean football.

“There’s no denying that being apart from my family had an effect; I was 16 months away from loved ones, and it made it tough, but… I was fully dedicated over that duration of time to commit myself to FAS and Singapore football because I was determined to make and develop Singapore football to a much higher level,” Mr. Palatsides said.

“But I’d like to think we’ve taken the initial steps toward making this nation a very powerful football society in the not-too-distant future,” he said. “Private, health issues were a bit persistent, but I would not want to reveal that because it’s a personal matter.”

Moving Forward

When Palatsides was announced as technical director back in 2019, he said that he wanted to improve the football industry of Singapore. 

“I want to assure the football community in Singapore that this obstacle will not stop the efforts that Joe has initiated and set into motion. We must move ahead despite any changes to the team,” Mr. Lim said.

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