Mass of blue set to flood Kallang

Mass of blue set to flood Kallang
Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni, second from right, and Yoshiro Okubo, right, during a training camp in Ibusuki, Kagoshima Prefecture.

SINGAPORE - Takafumi Iwamoto can't wait for Oct 14 to arrive.

That's when the Japanese expatriate will finally get to watch his national team "live", when the Blue Samurai take on record five-time world champions Brazil in a glamour international friendly at the National Stadium.

The 41-year-old, who works for a sanitaryware equipment manufacturer here, told The New Paper yesterday: "In Japan, it's tough to get tickets to watch that national team's home games because they're always sold out.

"Plus, the team usually play in Tokyo or near the capital, and I stay in Fukuoka, the east of Japan.

"This will be the first time I watch Japan, and Brazil, in the flesh, so I'm really looking forward to some high-quality football."

The Iwamoto family - his wife and two sons, Sorata, 9, and Yota, 4 - are all geared up for the big game. Sorata and Yota will have their faces painted, and Iwamoto might do it as well, to help turn sections of the 55,000-seater National Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub into a sea of blue.

They will be watching the game as part of a band of families whose kids are in the Albirex Niigata Football School, launched by Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League club, Albirex Niigata.

With Brazil and Japan promising to field top stars like Neymar, Oscar, Shinji Kagawa and Keisuke Honda, more than 20,000 tickets were snapped up in the first week of ticket sales.

The Japanese fans' manic support here is nothing new.

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