News • April 4, 2017

S.League Clubs Tune Up For New Campaign


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

The S.League 2017 Forum for Players and Officials was held at the Black Box Auditorium, Singapore Sports Hub on Friday afternoon (17 Feb) as they gathered for a series of organised talks before the S.League season kicks off.

Apart from the players and officials, present at the forum were also S.League Director of Operations, Mr Kok Wai Leong, Head of Referees Mr Abdul Malik Bashir as well as Miss Peh Min-Min, Head of Strategic Intellience from the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau.

Kok got the event underway by outlining exciting new plans for the S.League this season while highlighting the challenges the current footballing world faces at the same time.

He also furnished the dates for the respective competitions in domestic football, namely the S.League, Singapore Cup and the League Cup.

Former S.League referee, Abdul Malik then spoke about the changes in the Rules of the Game by FIFA which would take effect in the upcoming season.

It was something Tampines Rovers midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman felt would be beneficial for the players when they take to the pitch.

“It helps us with preparing for the season,” he said.

“The referee talk allows us to know more about the changes to the rules of the game and it’s good for the players to know.”

Echoing Shahdan’s sentiments, Hougang United’s Zulfahmi Arifin said: “While the changes are pretty basic, we really need to understand the rules that have been changed and what was explained (at the briefing) was very clear.

“This is always for the better of the game so it’s a good thing.”

In a bid to enhance the professionalism of the S.League, a new initiative will be introduced this season where random players will undergo a drug test on match days or even during training sessions.

Stressing the importance of such a practice, Zulfahmi added: “Corruption is a serious matter.

“We footballers wouldn’t want to spoil the game so something like this has to be prevented.”

The new season will kick-off on 26 February with the Community Shield between 2016 S.League champions Albirex Niigata (S) and last season’s Singapore Cup runners-up Tampines Rovers. The match will be played at the National Stadium, Singapore Sports Hub.

S.League 2017 fixtures: