Defending AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) champions Brunei DPMM FC will take on Komoco Motors Singapore Cup winners Tampines Rovers FC on 22 February in the AIA Community Shield to kick off the 2020 domestic season.
The Community Shield is the standalone fixture that acts as the traditional curtain-raiser for the new SPL season. It will take place for a 13th time at Jalan Besar Stadium; kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The 25th season of the SPL will kick off on 29 February with two matches being played simultaneously – Albirex Niigata FC (S) host Geylang International FC at Jurong East Stadium, while Home United FC take on DPMM FC at Bishan Stadium.
This season will see two venue changes – the Young Lions will play their home matches at Jurong West Stadium while Hougang United FC will welcome their opponents to their previous stomping ground of Hougang Stadium throughout the season.
The relocations are necessitated by the impending re-turfing at Jalan Besar Stadium, which served as the shared home-ground for both sides in 2019. The artificial pitch, which was last re-turfed in 2014, is due for a change of surface to one of a higher quality. The re-turfing works are necessary for the venue to be able to sustain programming that includes SPL matches, international matches and tournaments from age-group to senior level, ActiveSG Football Academy sessions, various coaching clinics and community events, and more.
As one of the few stadiums to meet the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) requirements for hosting its AFC tournaments, it is also imperative that the pitch at Jalan Besar Stadium is upgraded as part of the Football Association of Singapore’s efforts to ensure that it is acceptable to both FIFA and AFC standards. The current pitch will be replaced by a new surface as part of the extensive renovation; works will commence in late February and is expected to be completed by the year’s end.
FAS President Lim Kia Tong said: “We appreciate we have to improve the quality of the pitch and we are determined to do so. We have taken feedback from stakeholders and clubs over the past two years and with the assistance of FIFA Forward funding and Sport Singapore’s support, we are glad to be able to commence re-turfing works at Jalan Besar in order to further elevate the quality of the pitch.”
Hougang United head coach Clement Teo, whose side won eight of their 12 home games last season en-route to finishing in third, the highest-ever in club history, said: “Our team adapted very well at the Jalan Besar Stadium last year and have good memories of the exciting matches played there, as well as the tremendous support from our fans. However, we fully understand the need for the upcoming revamp and are very much looking forward to returning to an improved facility.”
The full list of fixtures for the 2020 SPL season can be accessed here.
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