Football: Man United could play at the National Stadium, says Sports Hub CEO

Sports Hub CEO Manu Sawhney at the National Stadium.
Sports Hub CEO Manu Sawhney at the National Stadium.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

Discussions have taken place between officials from the Singapore Sports Hub and Manchester United on the prospect of the English football giants playing a match at the National Stadium.

Sports Hub CEO Manu Sawhney, who is also a director at United, revealed the news during an hour-long interview with The Straits Times on Tuesday.

"I hosted United's commercial director (Jamie Reigle) at our facility and he was blown away by the place - I told him that it is my absolute dream to bring the Red Devils to Singapore," said Sawhney, who joined the Sports Hub in October after previously helming sports television giant ESPN Star Sports.

 

The 48-year-old added: "We want to bring the team to Asia more often. Sitting on the board of directors, I am encouraging them to do that.

"There is a clear intent to do just that and put the Sports Hub on the global map."

United have been struggling for a winning formula since the departure of legendary manager Alex Ferguson in 2013, but the club reportedly still boast over 600 million fans across the globe.

The Red Devils have toured the United States four times in the last six years, but have not embarked on a full Asian tour since visiting Japan, Hong Kong and Thailand in 2013.

The first team last came to Singapore in 2001, beating a national selection 8-1 in a friendly match at the old National Stadium in Kallang.

A return to the Republic is more likely to happen next year, as the National Day Parade and other build-up activities will be held at the Sports Hub in July and August, the months when European teams typically go on overseas tours.