Football: Possible double-treat

Football: Possible double-treat

It was originally scheduled for a traditional 7.30pm kick-off, but the first football match to be hosted at the new National Stadium will now start at 6pm, instead.

The glamour friendly on Aug 16 will feature Italian giants and reigning Serie A champions Juventus against a Singapore Selection led by national coach Bernd Stange.

While some sources have told The New Paper that Juventus have another commitment scheduled on the night of the match, a factor that played a part in influencing the rearrangement, the football grapevine is rife with talk that a clash with the opening weekend of the new English Premier League season was a big reason for the switch of kick-off times.

Already, there has been a surge of interest in Louis van Gaal's new-look Manchester United side and it is expected to reach fever pitch when he leads out his charges at Old Trafford at 7.45pm (Singapore time) for their first game of the season against Swansea.

While organisers World Sport Group (WSG) would only say that "a few different issues" brought about the decision to bring forward the kick-off time of the Juventus match, there is a chance fans who catch the friendly at the 55,000-capacity National Stadium can also take in the "live" encounter between United and Swansea on a big screen at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Decision

In response to TNP queries, WSG said: "WSG and Sports Hub are jointly looking at this and a decision will be made in due course."

The opening day of the 2014/15 English Premier League season on Aug 16 will also see West Ham United face London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal host Crystal Palace.

But, with United having a massive following in Singapore, all eyes will be on the Red Devils as they look to bounce back from a limp 10 months under former manager David Moyes.

Expectations are high after Dutchman van Gaal guided his country to third-place at the recent World Cup in Brazil.

The Sports Hub has already hosted a screening of "live" football matches, with the OCBC Square screening World Cup matches, including the third-place play-off that saw van Gaal's charges beat Brazil 3-0, and the final where Germany beat Argentina 1-0.

Leading up to the 3am kick-off of the final, the Sports Hub's World Cup screenings witnessed fringe activities that started from midnight, including face painting and free-to-play foosball machines.

But, with the decision to bring forward the kick-off of the Singapore Selection-Juventus fixture only made recently, WSG could not reveal details on a possible screening of the EPL fixture.

S'PORE SELECTION V JUVENTUS TICKET PRICES Cat 1: 10,000 seats - $180 Cat 2: 10,000 seats - $110 Cat 3: 16,000 seats - $70 Cat 4: 16,000 seats - $45 *For patrons under 16 years of age, tickets are priced from $30 to $45. Prices do not include promotional discounts. Tickets can be purchased at Sports Hub Tix (www.sportshubtix.sg).


This article was first published on July 31, 2014.
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