Football: Police investigating pitch invasions at recent football matches at National Stadium

The Oct 10 friendly between Brazil and Senegal saw two young boys run onto the pitch at the National Stadium to take wefies with players before the start of the second half.
The Oct 10 friendly between Brazil and Senegal saw two young boys run onto the pitch at the National Stadium to take wefies with players before the start of the second half.ST PHOTOS: JASON QUAH

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has confirmed it is investigating the pitch invasions that took place in football matches held at the National Stadium over the past week.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the SPF said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 17): "On 10 October 2019 at about 9.20pm, the Police were alerted to two cases of wilful trespass along 1 Stadium Drive. Four youths, aged between 11 and 15, are assisting with police investigations.

"On 15 October 2019 at about 9.30pm, the Police received a call for assistance along 1 Stadium Drive. A 30-year-old man was arrested for public nuisance. Police investigations are ongoing."

The Oct 10 friendly between Brazil and Senegal, which ended 1-1, saw two young boys run onto the pitch at Kallang to take wefies with Selecao star Neymar and other players before the start of the second half.

After the game, there was a similar pitch incursion by young fans. All were eventually apprehended by security and led away.

During the Oct 15 World Cup qualifier between Singapore and Uzbekistan, a spectator entered the area between the pitch and the stands and confronted fans from the visiting team. He too was escorted away by security.

The Singapore Sports Hub said in a statement on Oct 16 "pitch invasions or other breaches of security will be dealt with severely and trespassers will be handed over to the police".

It added it would "continue to enhance security measures" but did not specify what these would entail.

Noting those who breach security measures "create unpleasant experiences for all", the statement explained: "The stadium is set up to bring fans as close to the action (their heroes) as possible. Pitch invasions do happen across the globe as passions run high and fans look to get closer to their heroes.

 
 
 

"Regardless, the safety of players and fans are our No. 1 priority and security checks are in place for anyone entering the stadium."

This is not the first time this year that pitch invasions have occurred at a football match at the National Stadium. During the International Champions Cup match between Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur in July, a young boy wearing a Juventus jersey darted across the pitch and headed for the bench.

Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri surprisingly allowed the boy to sit on the bench and take a wefie with his idol, five-time World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, before the fan was escorted out by security.

Brushing aside the incident, the Italian manager later said: "For me, when such a young fan goes onto the pitch, it's not an invasion but a joyful occasion."

The young fan was identified by British tabloid The Sun as 14-year-old Akhmadi Yerzhanov from Kazakhstan, who together with his father, was detained by Singapore police after the incident.