Football: Two of Malaysia's games at Jalan Besar

Football: Two of Malaysia's games at Jalan Besar
Almost a thousand people took part in a mass football dribbling event on the pitch of Jalan Besar Stadium on 3 May 2014, to commemorate RHB Bank Singapore’s 10th anniversary of partnership with Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) and the S.League.

The 7,500-seater stadium will be the venue of the 2010 champions' games against Myanmar on Nov 23 and Thailand on Nov 26.

Their final game, against hosts Singapore on Nov 29, will be played at the 55,000-capacity National Stadium.

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) secretary general Hamidin Amin confirmed the news to Malaysian sports portal Stadium Astro, following a working committee press conference yesterday ahead of this Sunday's Malaysia Cup final between Pahang and Johor Darul Ta'zim.

Said Hamidin: "FAS (the Football Association of Singapore) allows only one match a day at the National Stadium at the Sports Hub, so as to maintain the condition of the field.

"We have received a letter from FAS stating we have to play our games at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

NO CHOICE

"After discussing with FAM president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Dollah (Salleh, Malaysia national coach), we have no other choice but to follow the decision of FAS and AFF, and play at Jalan Besar."

He also said that the FAM lodged an appeal to have their games also played at the National Stadium, because of its larger capacity, but it was rejected.

The report added that Malaysia will prepare for the tournament at an artificial pitch in Johor.

The National Stadium pitch brouhaha arose after TNP's report on Oct 9 highlighted that the venue's hosting of a Jay Chou concert and a rugby match between the Maori All-Blacks and Singapore-based Asia Pacific Dragons contravened the AFF's minimum 15-working-day requirement for the pitch to "rest" before the Suzuki Cup.

The sandy pitch at the $1.33 billion Sports Hub has come in for heavy criticism from football fans and also stars from Juventus, Brazil and Japan, who played in exhibition matches on the surface recently.

Because of this, the Sports Hub decided to postpone the Jay Chou concert from Nov 8 to Dec 27, while the rugby match, scheduled for Nov 15, was cancelled.

The FAS, who also announced that the Lions would forgo training sessions and friendly matches at the National Stadium as part of their build-up, are expected to release an official statement tomorrow on Singapore's hosting of the tournament. 


This article was first published on Oct 30, 2014.
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