Football: No Global boycott of Singapore Cup final after wage issues resolved

Global Cebu in a photo from their Facebook page.
Global Cebu in a photo from their Facebook page.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The RHB Singapore Cup final between S-League champions Albirex Niigata and Philippine outfit Global Cebu at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday (Nov 25) will go on as planned after Global players decided not to go on strike.

The finale of the local football season had been thrown into disarray earlier on Wednesday (Nov 22) after Global players threatened not to get on the plane to Singapore unless wage issues were resolved. Sources had revealed that Global players were owed their salaries, some of them for up to six months.

But after a players' meeting with the club's management later in the day, Global captain Misagh Bahadoran said that the issues have been ironed out.

"This was a misunderstanding between the club and the players, and I'm glad to say the problem has been fixed and we will be flying to Singapore tomorrow," said Bahadoran, declining to reveal details of the solution.

Looking forward to the final, Bahadoran believes Global have enough quality to deny Albirex a clean sweep of all four domestic titles on Saturday.

"We are coming to win the Cup final, there's nothing else on our minds. We have good players and a strong team. Once we step on the field, we will get the job done. When we last came to Singapore, we brought only 13 players but we still won the game," he said.

Due to registration issues, Global played Hougang United in a two-legged Singapore Cup semi-final in September with only 13 players on their roster but still managed to beat the Cheetahs 4-3 on aggregate

It is understood that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has made special provision for Global to register four more players for Saturday's final, but even then, sources reveal that the Philippine side are likely to bring no more than 14 players.

Midfielders Paul Mulders and Dennis Villanueva, both Philippine internationals, are both suspended. Their situation is exacerbated by the loss of injured duo OJ Clarino and Amani Aguinaldo.

Bahadoran is backing his weakened team to thrive in adversity.

"Global are a Philippine club with much history, and we have big plans for the future. And we want to add one more trophy to that history - the Singapore Cup," he said.