SINGAPORE (AFP) - Visiting stars of the English Premier League were taken aback by Singapore's choking haze on Thursday which shrouded skyscrapers and sent air pollution rocketing to record levels.
"Haze alert!!!!" tweeted Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, one of nearly 20 current and former players and managers appearing in Singapore for a promotional event.
"Without the haze this hotel could quite possibly have the most breathtaking views. What a shame!" he added.
Ferdinand, Stoke City's Peter Crouch and Liverpool greats Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler were among the players who took schoolchildren through their paces at a towering casino-hotel in the city centre.
The visit was unfortunately timed with Singapore enveloped in acrid haze from forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia which triggered "hazardous" levels of pollution and the South-east Asian city-state's worst air quality on record.
Former England goalkeeper David Seaman, who last visited Singapore well before the city developed its marina skyline, added: "Well, I don't know it any other way! I've never seen (the skyline) clear!"