Fans who are tested or jabbed can catch SPL games free

Up to 250 fans will be able to catch each Singapore Premier League (SPL) match live from Saturday in a move that marks the return of spectators to the league this season.

The games between Balestier Khalsa and Hougang United and Young Lions and Tanjong Pagar on Saturday will be the first to welcome spectators back into stadiums, followed by Sunday's games featuring Albirex Niigata and Tampines Rovers, and Geylang International and Lion City Sailors.

Fans can catch eight SPL games for free from Saturday till April 23 when they produce proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or antigen rapid test (ART), or certification of having received the full two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The PCR test must be taken within the last 14 days from the date of the match, while the ART must be done within 24 hours before the end of the event. Those who have been inoculated will be admitted only if they received their second dose at least 14 days before the match.

From April 24, up to 250 fans may buy tickets to watch any SPL game without the need for testing. This follows the Ministry of Health's announcement last month that pilot spectator sports events approved by Sport Singapore can have up to 750 spectators from April 24 if pre-event testing is implemented, or up to 250 spectators without testing.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said it had worked with the relevant authorities to bring forward the timeline for the return of fans. They have not been able to catch live games since the season finale last December between Tampines and Geylang, which had 200 fans in attendance.

FAS general secretary Yazeen Buhari said: "We have seen our SPL fans passionately supporting their clubs from various locations outside match venues since the new season kicked off on March 13 and we feel it is only right we work towards welcoming them back to matches sooner than April 24.

"I speak for the SPL clubs and players that the fans' presence will be a welcome boost to the match-day experience. As we understand that some of them may choose to take the PCR test or the ART in order to gain entry, we have waived the cost of match tickets during this period."

Hougang fan Alvin Tan said: "It's a huge relief because we have missed the feeling of supporting the boys from the stands. We are looking forward to the re-entry and hope that our presence in the stadium will spur the team to continue their good performances."

SPL fans can also watch matches "live" on Singtel TV, StarHub TV and online via the SPL Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as the Facebook page of 1 Play Sports.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 08, 2021, with the headline 'Fans who are tested or jabbed can catch SPL games free'. Subscribe