It appears the match between a Singapore Selection side and Italian champions Juventus will not be the first to be played at the new National Stadium, after all.
The New Paper understands that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is planning an "A" International friendly against South-east Asian minnows Cambodia on July 13, three days before the glamour exhibition match.
The match will serve as a tune-up for the Singapore Selection team, coached by national coach Bernd Stange, and will allow the players an opportunity to get used to the surface at the National Stadium.
When queried on the Cambodia friendly, an FAS spokesman said: "We are finalising details of international friendly matches as part of the Lions' preparations for the year-end AFF Suzuki Cup.
"Unfortunately, we are not able to provide any further details just yet and will make an announcement at an opportune time." But there is a hitch in FAS' plans.
The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has revised their fixtures for the Malaysia Cup tournament and it will clash with the Cambodia game.
Originally scheduled to kick off on Aug 3, FAM now hopes to get the ball rolling on July 13.
This is a problem as the Singapore-based LionsXII team competing in Malaysia's domestic league and cup tournaments are expected to form the bulk of Stange's Singapore Selection side.
Stange's 21-man squad heading to Austria for a three-week long training stint later this week comprise 12 LionsXII players.
National skipper Shahril Ishak, who plays for Johor Darul Ta'zim II, and midfield dynamo Hariss Harun, who plays for Johor Darul Ta'zim, are also in the squad and, if selected for the Juventus game, face the same problems as their club sides are also part of the Malaysia Cup.
FAM local competitions committee chairman Afandi Hamzah said: "Ideally, we would like to start the Malaysia Cup on July 13.
"The FAS has made us aware of the Juventus match and its preparations for it, so we have taken that into consideration.
"We would like to stick to the July 13 kick-off but we are making alternative plans.
"At the end of the day, the fixtures are not confirmed yet and there is room for us to tweak it some more."
This article was first published on July 4, 2014.
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