SportSG tells Sports Hub: We won't pay until pitch is ready for top events

Sport Singapore (SportSG), the governing body for Singapore sports, maintains that it will not pay for the Singapore Sports Hub until the National Stadium pitch is of a standard befitting of the magnitude of the sports events being held at the new ar
Sport Singapore (SportSG), the governing body for Singapore sports, maintains that it will not pay for the Singapore Sports Hub until the National Stadium pitch is of a standard befitting of the magnitude of the sports events being held at the new arena. -- ST PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Sport Singapore (SportSG), the governing body for Singapore sports, maintains that it will not pay for the Singapore Sports Hub until the National Stadium pitch is of a standard befitting of the magnitude of the sports events being held at the new arena.

In a statement released by chief executive officer Lim Teck Yin on Tuesday, SportSG said that the pitch remains one of the key deliverables that the SportsHub Pte Ltd (SHPL) has yet to fulfil, in spite of promises and assurances given in the past to the government and the public.

Under the agreed public-private partnership (PPP) scheme, SHPL will bear the cost of constructing and operating the $1.33 billion Sports Hub. The Government did not pay anything upfront, but is making annual payments to SHPL over 25 years. The first was in August 2010 when construction started.

Lim added: "SHPL's recent explanations for the failure have given the Asean Football Federation and the Football Association of Singapore cause for concern that the National Stadium will not be ready to host the upcoming Suzuki Cup that is due to start on Nov 23.

"The common knowledge that the busy events calendar for the National Stadium continues to disrupt and complicate the growth and maintenance of the pitch must be addressed decisively. This would be critical to any efforts to contend with the purported micro-climate within the stadium. Sport Singapore will hold SHPL accountable for the outcomes of their next actions. We cannot be paying for what has not been delivered.

"Singapore had been confirmed as the co-host for the AFF Suzuki Cup since April 4, 2013. We expect that our partners at SHPL will do everything necessary to ensure that the pitch and National Stadium would meet the AFF's requirements and standards for the Suzuki Cup."