Singapore returns to Malaysia Football Cup
SINGAPORE – Singapore will return to a premier Malaysian cup competition next year after a 17-year absence in a bid to revive the glory days of their rivalry and boost dwindling attendances.
Singapore last took part in the annual Malaysia Cup in 1994, when it won the club competition but left acrimoniously soon after because of disputes with Malaysia over gate receipts.
Under an agreement signed Tuesday between the two countries’ football governing bodies, a Singapore team comprising mainly under-23 national players will play in the Malaysia Cup from 2012 to 2015, a joint statement said.
They will be hoping to replicate the fierce rivalry of yesteryear between the neighbours that saw tens of thousands of fans pack stadiums.
“There is always a special romance between Singapore and Malaysia football,” said Zainudin Nordin, the president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
The agreement, signed in Selangor with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM), is part of efforts by the two bodies to rekindle the passion for local football and comes during a thaw in overall ties between the neighbours.
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