Football: Scholes out of Battle of Europe due to chest infection

Ex-Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes.
Ex-Manchester United and England star Paul Scholes. PHOTO: MASTERS FOOTBALL

Singapore football fans will be denied the chance to watch former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes - famous for his passing ability and long-range shooting - live in action.

The 41-year-old confirmed that he will be unfit to play in the Battle of Europe 2016 match between England Masters and Germany Masters due to a bad chest infection.

Scholes, who was due to arrive in Singapore last night, is not fit to travel and will not feature in the friendly, which kicks off at the National Stadium this evening at 7pm.

"I'm really sorry to let the fans in Singapore down. I've been looking forward to playing in the stadium and meeting the fans, so this is disappointing," the Englishman said.

"I am susceptible to infections, and my main focus now is to get my health in order.

"I look forward to the next opportunity when I can meet fans in Singapore."

Steve Black, chief executive of organisers Masters Football Asia, said that it is a pity Scholes is unable to play but that he is nevertheless looking forward to a great game.

"It is unfortunate that Paul Scholes is unable to join us in Singapore and we wish him a speedy recovery," he said.

"The players have been meeting the fans over the past few days and are absolutely raring to go.

"We are looking forward to a great game."

The meet-and-greet session for the players scheduled for 11am today will still proceed as planned.

To be held at Courts Megastore Tampines, the session will give fans a chance to meet 10 of the stars - Teddy Sheringham, David James, Emile Heskey, Fredi Bobic, Guido Buchwald, Darren Anderton, Michael Gray, Carlton Palmer, Darius Vassell and Lee Hendrie.

Former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman, who will also be playing in tonight's match, said: "We urge the fans to come down and watch the game.

"There are lots of fantastic players and it'll be a wonderful competition, so please come along and have a good time."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2016, with the headline 'Scholes out of Battle of Europe due to chest infection'. Subscribe