SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Friday (Feb 21) that the AIA Community Shield on Saturday will serve as a platform to support those affected by the Covid-19 coronavirus situation in Singapore.
The FAS, together with the two teams competing in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) curtain-raiser, Tampines Rovers and Hougang United, will make a collective donation to The Courage Fund, which is facilitated by Community Chest and National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
The FAS will match donations of $5,000 each from Tampines and Hougang and include the gate proceeds as part of the total donation.
FAS president Lim Kia Tong said: "As fellow Singaporeans, we have a moral duty to help those who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak here.
"The FAS is grateful to have the opportunity to do so by contributing to The Courage Fund, which will directly aid those who have suffered as a result of the current circumstances.
"Football is more than just a sport, it can be used as a platform to do good and impact lives; this is one way of doing so. It is our hope that together with the fans' show of support by attending, this initiative will bring the total donation amount to $25,000 - a landmark amount as the FAS celebrates the 25th anniversary of professional football in Singapore this year."
Tampines Rovers chairman Desmond Ong said: "The club is happy to be able to do our part in helping those who have been impacted during these difficult times.
"We would also like to record our thanks to the FAS for making this possible. Hougang United have also been excellent in agreeing to step up to the plate. From their senior management, the playing squad, right through to the Hools, they are a credit to local football and we are proud to stand alongside them on the pitch this Saturday."
Hougang United chairman Mr Bill Ng concurred, saying: "This will be the first time in the club's history that we are contesting the Community Shield and being able to be part of this initiative makes this an even more significant event.
"Off the pitch, we strongly believe in giving back to society when we can and we are glad to have the chance to do so during this difficult time."
Phillip Tan, chairman of Community Chest, said that he was "heartened" by the efforts of the FAS, Tampines and Hougang.
He added: "This will not only help those who require it the most, but also encourage all of us to come together and uplift one another through these difficult times. With unity, we will be able to emerge stronger together through challenges."