FOOTBALL bonds - particularly those relating to the EPL - are often formed in pubs, bars, and homes. But from this weekend, some might even be formed in Singapore's community clubs.
This, following a move by SingTel mio TV and the People's Association (PA) to screen selected English Premier League matches in 23 CCs. For starters, nine CCs will telecast tomorrow's match between Chelsea and Hull City.
Said SingTel's managing director of TV Goh Seow Eng: "Catching the game with a bunch of friends and neighbours is great fun and a fantastic way to foster community spirit in the heartland."
Added PA's chief executive director Ang Hak Seng: "It is a great way to bond the community as friends and neighbours, as well as parents and children, can gather to watch and cheer for their favourite football teams together."
While the idea of screening football matches in public is not new - some 2010 World Cup matches were also aired in CCs - mio TV is now committing to screening selected matches weekly till May 11, the season's final day.
The initiative was hailed by fans, even those who subscribe to pay-TV content at home.
Mr Sanjiv Sharma, 44, managing director of an advertising agency, said: "Sometimes watching a match in a friend's house might inconvenience family members, so this is a brilliant idea."
Fellow Arsenal supporter Ms Umarani Jayapal, a 27-year-old librarian, added: "It's more fun to watch in a group instead of alone at home, but sometimes there are limitations to watching in certain venues.
"This will be good in terms of helping to promote community bonding, for friends who support different clubs, to watch in a neutral venue."
Others, however, have their reservations. Said Mr Bruce Kam, 31, a customer service officer and Manchester United fan: "I personally prefer to enjoy a game comfortably, either at home or even if I have to fork out a bit of money to watch it at a pub with friends.
"But I think this could be popular with the senior citizens and students."
Where to watch
THE Chelsea versus Hull City English Premier League match will be shown at 8.45pm tomorrow at nine CCs:
- Tampines West
- Buona Vista
- Chong Pang
- Nee Soon South
- Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green
- West Coast
- Yio Chu Kang
Fourteen other CCs will commence screening after tomorrow. These are:
- Boon Lay
- Cheng San
- Chua Chu Kang
- Hong Kah North
- Pasir Ris Elias
- Paya Lebar Kovan
- Jurong Spring
- Tampines Central
- Toa Payoh Central
- Ulu Pandan