Football: Not perfect, but a positive start, says FAS of the inaugural Singapore Premier League season

Albirex dominate inaugural SPL, but FAS says right steps taken in three areas

Tampines Rovers' Khairul Amri (right) challenges Home United's Aqhari Abdullah for the ball during a Singapore Premier League match on Sept 29. Average attendance jumped to 1,800 this year from just below 1,000 last year.
Tampines Rovers' Khairul Amri (right) challenges Home United's Aqhari Abdullah for the ball during a Singapore Premier League match on Sept 29. Average attendance jumped to 1,800 this year from just below 1,000 last year.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

At first glance, the inaugural Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) season ended like its predecessor, the S-League, did: with Albirex Niigata gleefully sweeping every domestic title on offer.

The optics are not pretty. With a predominantly Under-23 side, Albirex became the first team in the 22-year history of professional football in Singapore to go an entire season - 24 league matches and five RHB Singapore Cup fixtures - unbeaten.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 06, 2018, with the headline 'Not perfect, but positive start'. Subscribe