SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) unveiled a new title sponsor and format change for this year's Singapore Cup on Friday (Aug 30).
Komoco Motors have replaced RHB Bank, the previous backers of the competition since 2005. The deal between Komoco and FAS is for a year and the sum was not disclosed.
Komoco have also been co-title sponsors of the Singapore Premier League since 2017.
Komoco commercial director Ng Choon Wee said the company is "proud to support our national pride and talent through the FAS" and "will continue to work closely with FAS to support the community as best as we can."
He added: "As a key governing body of local football scene that attracts the attention of nation-wide football fans from the football community, we are confident that the sport will continue to flourish.
The 2019 Singapore Cup will kick off on Sept25.
FAS president Lim Kia Tong said: "Komoco Motors is a company that has a proud and long history and is synonymous with excellence, as seen by the number of premier automobile brands it manages in its stable.
"This makes them a great fit with the Singapore Cup, which is the premier cup competition in local football."
He noted the tournament, previously a two-legged knock-out competition, will feature a group stage for this year's edition. The last time this format was used was in 2003.
The Young Lions, whose players will form the bulk of the national Under-23 team preparing for December's SEA Games in Manila, will not be involved, meaning the other eight SPL teams will be split into two groups of four.
The draw was conducted after the sponsorship signing ceremony at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Four-time defending champions Albirex Niigata are in Group B alongside Geylang International, SPL leaders Hougang United and Brunei DPMM.
Home United, Tampines Rovers, Warriors FC and Balestier Khalsa are in Group B.
The top two from each group qualify for the semi-finals, played over a home and away tie.
Lim said: "Compared to the knock-out format, the group stage provides more playing time for all, with increased number of matches, especially for younger players in the team.
"It will also generate more excitement for the fans, as teams fight to outrank one another to secure a spot in the semi-final."