The Straits Times
Published on Dec 07, 2012

Singapore's first World Cup referee George Suppiah dies


George Suppiah, who made history as Singapore's World Cup referee, died early on Friday morning after a long battle with diabetes.

The 83-year-old former teacher, who was also Asia's first referee at the 1974 World Cup finals , died at 12.45am at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. His wife of 55 years, Vallambal, son Subra and daughter Shamini, were with him in his final moments.

"He was the perfect dad," Shamini told The Straits Times. "He was a soft-spoken family man who was always calm and dignified."

At the 1974 tournament in former West Germany, Mr Suppiah took charge of a first-round match between Poland and Haiti. He was also the linesman for the Sweden-Bulgaria and Holland-Brazil matchees.