Singapore Premier League set to resume on 17 October without spectators

10-Oct-2020 Intellasia | Yahoo News Singapore | 11:48 AM Print This Post

The Singapore Premier League (SPL) will finally be able to resume its current season on 17 October, after the matches were suspended due to the COVID-19 situation for more than six months.

However, there will be no spectators at the matches until further notice, in order to reduce the risk to fans and to minimise community transmission, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) in a media release on Friday (9 October).

Fans can catch every SPL match on Singtel TV, StarHub TV and myCujoo as well as online via the SPL and 1Play Facebook pages.

Edwin Tong, minister for Culture, Community and Youth, said the resumption of SPL matches is a significant milestone in the progressive and safe resumption of sports activities in Singapore.

“MCCY, MOH (Ministry of Health), SportSG (Sport Singapore and the FAS (Football Association of Singapore) have worked hard to develop the necessary safe management measures, so that the players and public can get their football fix once again,” he said.

“While we may not be able to watch the matches live at the stadiums for the time being, your support on the livestreams will mean a lot to our clubs.”

Swab test for all players, match officials

Full squad training has restarted since 1 September, and players and match officials completed a swab test on Sunday as part of final preparations for the resumption of SPL. All 223 personnel have since tested negative for COVID-19.

MCCY and SportSG have worked with FAS to develop a set of safe-management measures, so that the matches can resume in a safe manner. The measures include:

Keeping the number of players and officials involved in each match to a minimum, and restricting to under 100 personnel within the stadium, segregated into five zones;

Staggering the arrival and departure timing of players and officials, from up to five hours pre-match to an hour post-match, to avoid bunching at entrances and other key areas and prevent interaction between the different zones;

Requiring all personnel in the stadium to mask-up and be positioned at least two metres from one another.

Only the 22 players and 4 match referees on the field of play will be allowed to be unmasked, as they are undertaking strenuous physical activity.

This group, together with substitutes who may be deployed, will be subject to fortnightly rostered routine testing. This takes into account the fact that they will be unmasked and likely to have prolonged close contact during the matches.

League format revised from 3 rounds to 2

In a separate media release, FAS welcomes MCCY’s announcement of the resumption of the SPL, and said that the league is on track to be completed by the end of the calendar year.

This league format has been revised to two rounds from the original three, meaning that each club will face each other only twice. This year’s Singapore Cup has also been cancelled in order to facilitate the SPL’s completion.

“Since the league was suspended, our SPL players and staff have endeavoured to maintain their physical and match fitness and morale despite only being allowed to resume small-group training in mid-June and full training on 1 September,” said FAS president Lim Kia Tong.

“The FAS will ensure that all the necessary COVID-19 safe protocols are strictly adhered to, to ensure the smooth restart of the League and hopes it will pave the way for more local sports leagues and events to resume.”

On the subject of reigning SPL champions Brunei DPMM’s participation status for this season, Lim said that they are a part of the competition format on resumption.

FAS has provided the club with an option of having their matches played in Singapore, and is awaiting their response by Monday.

The SPL season will pick up from where it left off with Tampines Rovers at the top of the standings with nine points from four games, followed by Geylang International and Albirex Niigata (S) with six and five points respectively from three games each.

The opening two matches on 17 October will be Tanjong Pagar United vs Balestier Khalsa at Jurong East Stadium, and Tampines Rovers vs Hougang United at Our Tampines Hub.


Category: Singapore

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