Football: S'pore Premier League restart delayed to July 17; Singapore Cup axed

Kazuki Hashioka (left) in action against Raoul Suhaimi at Jurong East Stadium on May 15, 2021.
Kazuki Hashioka (left) in action against Raoul Suhaimi at Jurong East Stadium on May 15, 2021.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Premier League (SPL) will resume on July 17, over two weeks from its original restart date of July 2, said the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) in a statement on Monday (June 21).

The updated schedule was made in agreement with the SPL clubs and will see the week kick off with Tanjong Pagar United against Young Lions, a replay of the fixture on May 8 that was abandoned due to inclement weather.

The season had taken an international break from May 23 and was initially slated to resume on July 2. But the FAS said that it had consulted with the teams and rescheduled the fixtures to allow clubs to have at least two weeks of preparation with players who were recently called up for international duty for the World Cup qualifiers in Saudi Arabia.

These players were required to serve a stay-home notice upon their return to Singapore which ends on July 4.

The FAS also added that the changes were made to cause minimal disruption to the schedule owing to the Tampines Rovers' involvement in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (East) group stage from Friday to July 10 in Uzbekistan.

With the delay pushing the end of the season from Sept 11 to Oct 2, the Singapore Cup has been cancelled to allow the Singapore Under-22s and national team enough time to prepare for their upcoming competitions, including the AFC Under-23 Asian Cup 2022 Qualifiers and the year-end SEA Games and Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup.

The SPL will be played behind closed doors owing to the Covid-19 situation but the FAS said it "will continue to monitor prevailing measures in place and will decide the conditions for re-entry of SPL fans into match venues closer to the league's resumption date".

Fans can watch matches live on Singtel TV, StarHub and via the SPL Facebook page and YouTube channel, as well as 1 Play Sports' Facebook page.