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Malaysia Cup: It’s Back!


FAS president Zainudin Nordin and FAM Deputy president Tengku Abdullah Al-Haj exchanging handshakes at the signing of the memorandum of understanding. (Photo: SSC)  

After a 17-year hiatus, it’s official! Singapore’s return to the Malaysia Cup has been confirmed.

 

Yesterday the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which will see a Singapore team participate in the Malaysia Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup from 2012 to 2015.

 

It may have been 17 years, but for those who grew up idolising the likes of Fandi Ahmad, Samad Allapitchay, V. Sundramoorthy and the many other legends, the return of Singapore to the cup has been met with enthusiasm and a sense of nostalgia.

 

50-year-old self-employed Michael Lim said, “I am very happy to see Singapore back in the Malaysia Cup, this is good for our football, maybe we could see another Fandi or Rajagopal.”

 

Fans will also be given an additional treat, as under the MOU, the league and cup winners of both countries will also cross swords annually. Facing off in the League Champions Challenge and Cup Winners Challenge.

 

A throng of fans may have grown up with foreign football, but the return to the cup could also result in a revival of interest in local football, songs will be sung, players immortalised and referees scrutinised.

 

The news has already struck the right chords with some fans. Terence Teo, a 19-year-old polytechnic student who grew up hearing only stories about the heady days of the Malaysia cup said, “Though I have not watched a single Malaysia Cup game, I am very excited as I have only heard good things about it.”

 

“This is a plus for Singapore’s football as I’m sure the current crop of players would do their best to replicate past victories and this is only going to improve the standard of our players,” said Ashley Lim a 20 year old student who also grew up hearing stories about the cup.

 

Though the MOU will see Singapore sending an under-23 team comprising of five seniors, the FAS has stressed that we will be sending a team there to win.

 

From Next Year…

 

 A Malaysian team, which will play in the S-League, League Cup and Singapore Cup, will be based here. 

- A Singaporean team will play in the Malaysian Super League, Malaysian FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

- Both teams will comprise under-23 players, five seniors and have the option of fielding foreign players based on the rules of the respective leagues. 

- The S-League champions will play the Malaysian Super League champions at home and away while the Singapore Cup winners will also play the Malaysia Cup winners over two legs.

- More international friendlies will be held between the two countries, from youth to senior level.