Born in Lebanon, Abbas Saad moved to Australia and started a professional footballing career. A midfielder with a good eye for goal, he played in the Malaysian League for Johor and Singapore in the early 1990s. He was a key member of teams that won the League and Malaysia Cup double with both Johor in 1991 and Singapore in 1994.
However a year after the 1994 triumph with Singapore, he was charged with match-fixing. He was tried, convicted and fined S$50,000 by the courts in Singapore in June 1995, but always maintained his innocence. He then received a global playing ban from FIFA.
After his ban ended, he played for several teams in the National Soccer League in Australia – Sydney Olympic in 1996-97, Sydney United from 1997-99, and for Northern Spirit FC in the 1999-2000 season.
In 1990, Saad represented Australia in a match against Russian club Torpedo Moscow and earned his first full cap against Malaysia two years later. After a six year gap, he was recalled by then Socceroos coach Terry Venables for three games in 1998. In all, he played six times for his country, including four full caps.
Saad is in the process of completing his ‘A’ licence. He was coach at New South Wales Premier League side Penrith Nepean United, in 2009 was named as Technical Youth Director by Sydney Olympic FC. He is also the Head Coach for the Australian Deaf Football team.
Saad’s football ban in Singapore was only lifted in March 2009 after almost 14 years. In August 2009, he began appearing as a football expert in the studios of ESPN STAR Sports and for the SingTel coverage of the UEFA Champions League in Singapore, where his popularity once saw him dubbed as “The Singapore Beckham”. He is also a regular studio guest for the FourFourTwo TV Show with the SuperSport channel on Malaysian network, Astro.
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