Singapore Premier League could resume in October
The Singapore Premier League (SPL), which has been suspended since March, could resume early next month if "everything goes on fine", said Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Lim Kia Tong.
Lim made those comments during the FAS Annual Congress, which was held virtually for the first time on Saturday (Sept 26), in keeping with safe distancing measures.
The SPL, which kicked off on Feb 29, played its last game on March 20, following which it was suspended amid tightening coronavirus control measures. Players trained on their own during the circuit breaker before the green light was given for five-a-side sessions on pitches from July 20 and full team training from Sept 1.
Lim said they have been working closely with Sport Singapore on how to move the professional league forward, adding: "A lot is dependent on the pandemic situation and there are healthy signs on control, which gives confidence to allow clubs to train with more than five players. Recently, we have also resumed full training.
"The natural anticipation is to look towards resumption. Pending any worsening of the situation, we were looking at the end of September, but it’s over the horizon and there's no indication that we could start.
"But with the further opening of the country and other measures involved, we believe that there’s some expectation that if everything goes on fine, we hope to see resumption in the first part of October."
Asked about the continued participation of defending champions Brunei DPMM in the nine-team league, Lim said the FAS has been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with regards to travel issues.
"If there should be any resumption, we'll do everything possible to facilitate their continuation in the 2020 season," he said.
"We also see that at a government level, there’s an agreement between Singapore and Brunei to have a green lane for certain travellers, so we have been working closely with Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we hope that the protocol put in place will not be an obstacle to continue to partake in the SPL once there is a resumption."
One of the key topics announced at the congress was that the FAS will be forming a separate committee for Goal 2034, which is its ambitious target to qualify for the World Cup Finals in 14 years' time.
The committee will comprise representatives not only from FAS, but also other stakeholders such as SportSG and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.