Following the Singapore Sports Hub’s media briefing on Thursday, the sport of football is all set to receive a boost in Singapore, in a bid to raise support and interest among locals.
The Festival of Football will take place from 14 June to 30 July, in conjunction with Sport Singapore’s Singapore Football Festival. Photo: Sport Singapore
The Singapore Sports Hub announced its upcoming Festival of Football, taking place from 14 June to 30 July and running in conjunction with Sport Singapore’s (SportSG) Singapore Football Festival (30 June to 30 July).
The Festival of Football, which looks to be the largest local football festival yet, will start on the same day as the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Indeed, both the Sports Hub’s Festival of Football and SportSG’s Singapore Football Festival are aiming to ride on the excitement surrounding the World Cup to rally Singaporeans of all walks of life around the sport.
“Singapore football needs a boost, a boost where it can bring life to local football back to the glory days of Fandi [Ahmad] and the gang. They deserve it, they want it, and the [national] team needs it,” stated Oon Jin Teik, CEO of Singapore Sports Hub.
“It’s very important for us to push this national sport in our way that we know how, aligned with the direction that SportSG wants to go,” he continued.
CEO of Sport Singapore, Lim Teck Yin (left), speaking at the event. Photo: Sport Singapore
CEO of SportSG Lim Teck Yin agreed with Oon, as he elaborated: “One of the key objectives we had with [last year’s Singapore Football Week], and we continued with this year, is really [to extend] an invitation to everybody who’s interested to make our football ecosystem great, to come together during this period, and rally around an idea that we can play football everywhere in Singapore.”
“It’s [Singapore Football Festival] an important festival for all football athletes, and more importantly the message is that we all come together, [from] fans, weekend warriors, football companies, youth developers, [and] event owners.”
During the Festival of Football, Singaporeans can look forward to live screenings of most matches of the World Cup, including the knockout stages and the final, as well as the International Champions Cup and Singapore Premier League, on a mega 66 square-metre LED screen set up at the OCBC Square.
Additionally, football fans can expect meet-and-greets with local footballers, live entertainment by youth performers from the National Youth Council, and football-themed activities hosted around the square, including football clinics and programmes by the ActiveSG Football Academy. Adam Firth, chief commercial officer of Singapore Sports Hub, also assured reporters that the festival’s activities will be suitable for everyone, including the young, old, and people with disabilities.
Lim Tong Hai, SportSG’s team lead of partnerships and pathways, sport clubs development, revealed that efforts to engage partners in co-creating football activities across the island for the Singapore Football Festival have gotten underway.
Lim Tong Hai (second from left), SportSG’s Team Lead of partnerships and pathways, Sport Clubs Development, revealed that efforts to engage partners in co-creating football activities across the island for the Singapore Football Festival have gotten underway. Photo: Sport Singapore
“We see that there’s a lot of effort [in] trying to bring football to the masses and the heartlands. We are trying to touch base with all walks of life, trying to provide more opportunities for everyone to participate in football,” said Lim, who was former national footballer himself.
Bearing witness to the massive support local footballers have received over the years, Yazeen Buhari, deputy general secretary of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), said: “If you look at the shared vision that we have to help the sport of football, it’s just very heartening.”
In a step towards developing more talent within the sport, SportSG also announced a tender for the new Kallang Football Hub (KFH), which will be located at Kallang Field and expected to be ready by late 2019.
The new facility, featuring three full-sized turf pitches and four sheltered futsal pitches, will become the National Training Centre for national football teams across all age-groups, and a home for ActiveSG Football Academy’s programmes and milestone events.
With the sporting fraternity pledging their support and commitment towards growing football, there is much for Singaporeans to look forward to in time to come. If you wish to find out more about the Singapore Football Festival coming up at the end this month, head to the following website: www.footballfest.sg