It would be a “realistic” goal for Singapore’s national football team to qualify for the 2034 FIFA World Cup, according to Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Vice-President Edwin Tong in an interview with the Straits Times.
“We’ve always wanted to be somewhere on the world stage, so we need to start,”
“2034 is 15 years away … so you’re looking at boys today who are maybe eight, nine to 14, 15 and if you can cultivate the programme that has that endgame in mind, it will do us a lot of good,”-Edwin Tong
Edwin Tong is also the Senior Minister of State for Health and Law and Member of Parliament (MP) for Marine Parade GRC.
Singapore had previously set a goal to qualify for the 2010 World Cup back in 1998. Then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said the initiative, dubbed Goal 2010, was “bold and ambitious”.
Today, Singapore ranks 162nd out of 211 Fifa member countries. Despite previously failing to achieve the 2010 World Cup qualification goal, Edwin Tong remained optimistic of Singapore’s chances for 2034, citing Fifa’s expanded 48-team format from 2026 onwards.
Under the new 48-team format, the number of places for Asian countries would almost double to eight.
Nevertheless, Singapore would have to face down formidable Asian rivals to attain the coveted spot in the World Cup tournament.
“There are a bit more opportunities … The obvious powerhouses, Korea, Japan, Australia, maybe some of the Middle Eastern countries, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the next tier you have Uzbekistan, Central Asians, and of course Southeast Asians,”