COVID-19: National football coach Tatsuma Yoshida pens letter to support healthcare workers

Singapore national football coach Tatsuma Yoshida. (FILE PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s national football coach Tatsuma Yoshida has penned a letter urging fans to give their support to healthcare workers during this COVID-19 pandemic period.

His letter and video was put up on the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Facebook page on Thursday (26 March), when the Lions were originally scheduled to face Palestine in their 2020 World Cup qualifying match.

They were also due to face Saudi Arabia at the National Stadium next Tuesday. Both matches have been postponed.

Here is the letter in full, with the video post below:

“Dear Singapore fans,

I am sure you were looking forward to this week just like me, when we were due to play Palestine and then Saudi Arabia in our World Cup Qualifiers.

As you are aware, these matches have been postponed in view of the coronavirus pandemic that has affected people and countries all over the world.

I have no doubt it is the correct decision not to play these matches. Football is a global sport that can bring happiness, different emotions and energy to us. But for now, it is not a big deal to us.

The number one priority is the health and daily lives of our families, our loved ones and the people around us. The situation is very serious but I feel that in Singapore, the government has handled it in a way that makes all of us feel that we will be okay.

I have been here for almost 10 months and I really feel at home here. I feel this way each time I return to Singapore, whether it is from our away matches, my scouting trips to watch our overseas players or from my recent holiday in Japan. Going through immigration control at Changi Airport always gives me the feeling that I am coming home.

I am very grateful for the support shown to me by Singaporeans and the trust you have given me to lead your National Team. I could feel it in the stadiums during our home matches last year, in person when we meet and in the very kind comments online. I am proud and feel so happy.

What you have shown, together with our players and backroom staff, is that when we unite with belief, we can overcome all challenges in front of us. Whether it is higher-ranked opponents on the field or the more serious problem facing all of us now, we can win this battle.

Please give all your support to our healthcare workers, our doctors and nurses who are working so hard in this fight. They are our heroes. They are standing on the frontlines for us and we have to do the right thing for them. This is not difficult for us.

Please, follow all the instructions by the authorities on what we must do. I am writing this from my apartment now, as today is my “work from home” day. Do not panic, do not rush; listen to the information from the government and believe in our country.

We have to, as One Singapore, rise to the bigger challenge that is affecting us and the world.

I look forward to the day when we will go onto the pitch again and represent all of you as the Lions. That will not only mean that football is back, but that the situation in the world is stable and safe again.

Now is the time for us to work together as a team, because we are #ONESTRONG.

Until then, please take care of yourself, your families and each other.

Ganbarimasu and Majulah Singapura!


Tatsuma Yoshida

Singapore National Team Coach”

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