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Lim Say Heng
Saturday, Nov 1, 2014

Sports

SEA Games: JBS could host group matches

The New Paper | Lim Say Heng | Saturday, Nov 1, 2014

LionsXII right back Madhu Mohana (left, No. 6) scoring the winning goal against ATM FA during the first leg of the Malaysia Cup quarter-final match held at the Jalan Besar Stadium on 28 September 2013. LionsXII beat ATM FA 1-0.

Two seasons ago, the LionsXII won the Malaysian Super League title thanks to their superb home form.

Next year, fortress Jalan Besar Stadium could be the launchpad for the Singapore Under-23 team's bid to win the South-east Asia (SEA) Games gold.

The stadium is being considered as one of the venues for the group matches, with the final - and possibly the semi-finals - at the National Stadium.

Asked about the topic recently, Singapore SEA Games Organising Committee (Singsoc) executive chairman Lim Teck Yin said: "Possibly Jalan Besar; we are still discussing this carefully with the FAS (Football Association of Singapore).

"We need more than one stadium for football; at any one time we would need at least two.

"In deconflicting the various event schedules, we do want to bring SEA Games football back to the National Stadium at least for the semi-finals and the final.

"But, for the preliminary-group matches, we would have to find two other stadiums to play those games."

In previous media briefings, the two venues were identified as the Bishan and Choa Chu Kang Stadiums, which are used by Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League clubs Home United and Warriors respectively.

But The New Paper understands that Jalan Besar is now in the mix because organisers are mulling over staging rugby at Bishan.

If confirmed as SEA Games venues, Home and Warriors may be asked to relocate for next season, as the organisers will need to take over the facilities early next year for renovations and refurbishments.

Said Lim, who is also the Sport Singapore chief executive officer: "Planning is underway to enhance the selected stadium(s), which may include the provision of additional seating."

ALTERNATIVES

Jurong West and Serangoon Stadiums are understood to be alternatives for the S.League clubs should their grounds be needed for national duty.

The Courts Young Lions may be spared the move if the Jalan Besar Stadium is confirmed as one of the venues, though.

The stadium's artificial turf was relaid in recent times, with the stands maintained for the LionsXII's league and cup campaigns.

FAS spokesman Gerard Wong said the association is waiting for confirmation on SEA Games stadiums, following which plans for the affected S.League clubs will made.

sayheng@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Oct 30, 2014.
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