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Civil servant Aleksandar Duric cast a slur on academies but had no coaching licence

By Kannan Raj

The Government’s ActiveSG Football Academy is not only killing Singaporean livelihoods, but it has also employed a Principal who was not qualified as a coach when he was employed.

Aleksandar Duric, who is the Principal of the ActiveSG Football Academy, was appointed last year and it was reported on 30 January 2016 that he would be “taking a managerial role, in charge of assembling and managing a team of partners and coaches for delivering the academy’s programmes.”

However, he did not have a coaching licence then.

In fact, he only received his ‘C’ licence, which is the lowest grade of coaching, in February 2017.

TOC received a private message about Duric’s coaching credentials (or lack of) in a private message, which prompted us to check.

TOC posed the following questions to Sport Singapore about the appointment of Duric, who is a former national footballer.

TOC’s questions were directed at Sport Singapore’s Director Lee Huei Chern as follows:

  • What qualifications does Aleksandar Duric have in terms of coaching? Obviously not much, without much experience.
  • How many years has he been involved in youth development at the academy level? No one seems to know as he was an assistant coach and fitness trainer at Tampines after he retired from playing.
  • As Sport Singapore is a government agency, what process did it go through before appointing him as Principal? What was the open recruitment process and who were the other candidates? There was none.

Can Sport Singapore explain why?

To date, Sport Singapore has not responded to the queries.

media query Active sg

What is also disturbing is that despite not having a coaching licence, Duric made these comments at the “Ideas for Change” discussion which was organised by Football Association of Singapore on 9 March, which was attended by the CEO of Sport Singapore, Lim Teck Yin.

Duric said “I really worry about Singapore football, where it is headed to, when you allow unqualified coaches who don’t teach the kids the proper way. There are so many so-called coaches in some academies who are not up to the mark and it’s a serious situation the Football Association of Singapore must address.”

The comments were made by Duric, a civil servant, without giving any evidence or facts to back his claim.

And his accusation about coaches at academies not being up to mark, without any examples or evidence is unwarranted from a civil servant as it casts a slur on people who are trying to earn a living.