SINGAPORE - Singapore is finally going to a football World Cup - the minifootball World Cup, to be precise.
And the game's administrators here - the Association of Minifootball Singapore - are calling on weekend warriors to attend trials for the chance to to represent the Republic at the World Minifootball Federation (WMF) World Cup 2019 in Perth, Australia, from October 1-10.
A selection tournament will be held from July 6-7 at the Rainforest Sports Hub, with a shortlist of 24 to be selected for further trials. The final squad of 15 will get an all-expenses paid trip to represent the national team at the World Cup.
While world football body Fifa regulates the 11-a-side game, futsal (five-a-side indoor) and beach football, the WMF, formed in 2008, governs minifootball, which is six a side and features amateur players.
According to the WMF website, minifootball, which is played outdoors and as 25-minute halves, is played by 144 countries.
The 2019 WMF World Cup will be the third edition of the tournament, and will see Singapore participate for the first time following WMF's invite. The Republic is among seven Asian countries in the competition and is one of only two Asean nations there, along with Thailand. Singapore were drawn into Group G alongside defending champions Czech Republic, Chile and Serbia and will be among 32 teams in Perth.
Singapore coach S. Kishor said his goal is to form a team that play with "tenacity and passion".
"In order to do this, we are looking for the most competitive team of technically gifted football players who can make good, quick decisions in tight spaces," he said.
"My team of selectors and I will be watching closely during our selection tournament on July 6 and 7, and I am eagerly waiting to see the talent Singaporeans have to show.
"This is our chance to train and wear our national flag with pride to take on the best six-a-side nations in the world in Perth this October."
Those interested in participating in the WMF selection tournament may register a team of up to 10 players, for $250 per team. Individuals without teams can also sign up for $30, and be placed into teams by the organisers.
Registration closes on Sunday, and only Singapore citizens will be considered for the World Cup team.
There are also cash prizes for the selection tournament champions ($1,250), runners-up ($750) and second runners-up ($500), as well as top scorer and best keeper awards ($100 each).
*More information can be found on http://minifootball.sg/wmf-national-selection-tournament.