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Juve tie poses call-up snag for overseas Lions

The Straits Times | Terence Ong | Thursday, May 29, 2014

Shahril Ishak, captain of the Singapore national football team.

SINGAPORE - It seems likely that a Singapore Selection side, and not the national team, will be the ones to face Italian Serie A champions Juventus at the new National Stadium in an Aug 16 friendly.

Hopes from both fans and players of seeing the Lions take on the Turin club look set to be dashed, owing to potential difficulties in calling up overseas-based members of the squad.

The match is scheduled on a day not sanctioned for international friendlies by world governing body Fifa, so clubs like Malaysia's Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) - whom midfielder Hariss Harun plays for - are not obliged to release their players for national duty.

That day has also been earmarked for Malaysia Cup fixtures, which JDT is set to participate in.

National captain Shahril Ishak, who plays for JDT II in the second-tier Malaysia Premier League, could also face the same problem of his club not releasing him for the friendly, should his team qualify for the Malaysia Cup.

In response to queries from The Straits Times over the possibility of the national team taking the place of the selection side, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said that national coach Bernd Stange, who will take charge of the Singapore side for the friendly, has not yet decided on who will make the squad.

"Bernd will be discussing the player selection with his technical team after the national team returns from (a training trip to Austria) in July," said the FAS.

"The announcement of the squad list will be made at (the end of) July."

Meanwhile, fans can now buy tickets to the Juventus friendly via the Sports Hub Tix website (www.sportshubtix.sg).

An adult ticket will cost between $45 and $180.

Children tickets are priced from $30-$45.

Fans can also enjoy an early-bird promotion with a 10 per cent discount, which expires when Italy exit the World Cup which takes place from June 12 to July 13.

They can also win exclusive access to a Juventus training session if they buy 11 tickets at one go.


This article was first published on May 27, 2014.
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