S.League match postponed because of the haze
Last night's clash between Albirex and Tampines postponed due to high PSI reading
The Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League S.League match between title rivals Albirex Niigata and Tampines Rovers fell victim to the haze last night.
The Football Association of Singapore's (FAS) threshold for games is a maximum three-hour PSI (Pollutant Standards Index) reading of 150 and, at 6pm yesterday, it was 160.
The Albirex players took to the pitch for their warm-up at around 6.30pm but, after about 15 minutes, they were asked to return to the dressing room.
Originally scheduled for 7.30pm, match officials delayed kick-off for an hour, hoping that the PSI reading would go below the 150 mark.
But, at 9pm, the reading rose to 193, nearing the very unhealthy range of 201-300, forcing the match to be postponed.
Fans were advised to keep their ticket stubs and wait for news on when the rescheduled match would take place.
The FAS said in a statement: "The S.League believes the safety and wellbeing of our fans, players and officials are of paramount importance.
"If the three-hourly PSI exceeds 150 at one hour before kick-off, we will make the decision to delay the start of the match to see if conditions improve.
"Further decisions will then be made on an hourly basis thereafter, as PSI readings are only released on an hourly basis, on the hour.
"The decision was made to postpone tonight's match between Albirex Niigata and Tampines Rovers as the 3-hourly PSI stood at 193 at 9pm and the latest a match can kick off is 9.30pm.
"We consulted the match commissioner and representatives of the clubs before coming to this decision.
"We wish to reiterate that the decision to postpone any match is never taken lightly, and is always taken in consultation with all relevant stakeholders."
The postponement of the match was an anti-climactic end to a night which promised so much.
Tampines captain Mustafic Fahrudin had told The New Paper pre-match that the game would be his side's "biggest" of the season.
Over 300 children, who had signed up to dance with popular Japanese cartoon character Jibanyan from the cartoon series Yo-Kai Watch, left the Jalan Besar Stadium disappointed as organisers did not receive clearance to carry out the activity on the pitch.
Albirex fan Hisato Yuto, who had taken his family to the match, was among those who left once it was apparent that the game would not take place.
"They're a little bit upset because they wanted to see the game as much as Jibanyan," said the 36-year-old of his two sons Taiju, 7, and Keiju, 4.
"But these things happen."
Many of the 2,829 fans had already left the stadium by the time a mascot in a Jibanyan outfit performed the show's trademark dance, but some kids, who had stayed on with their parents, danced along in the stands.