Return of Kallang Roar will be spiced up by Juve 'curva'

Return of Kallang Roar will be spiced up by Juve 'curva'
David Alexander is taking his son to a live football game for the first time at the new National Stadium 16 August 2014, when a Singapore Selection side take on Italian champions Juventus.

When Italian football giants Juventus take on a Singapore Selection side at the new National Stadium on Saturday, it will be more than just a normal friendly match for David Alexander.

As a football fan, the audit specialist has watched the Singapore team play at the old National Stadium over the years, experiencing first-hand the fabled Kallang Roar that struck fear into opponents.

Now that the new National Stadium is hosting its first-ever football match, he plans to take his six-year-old son to the game to experience a live game atmosphere for the first time on Saturday - and, hopefully, the return of the Kallang Roar.

"The passion from Singapore fans at the National Stadium is something you can't comprehend fully just by watching it on the television," said Alexander, 37.

"It is loud in a good way, and when Singapore scores a goal, people jump around and high-five each other even though they don't know each other.

"This spirit of camaraderie is something I want my son to experience, and what better opportunity to do so than this match."

Alexander is not the only one who will be exposing his son to live football action in Singapore.

Edward Lee, a sales manager, is also keen to take his three-year-old son to the game.

Growing up, Lee too felt the sheer ferocity of roaring fans at the old stadium when he followed Singapore's progress in the Malaysia Cup in the 1990s.

"At its peak, the Kallang Roar was electrifying, as everyone came together as one and chanted their support for a Singaporean team," said Lee, 40.

"It gave me goosebumps back then, and I want my son to experience this part of local culture too and be able to talk about it with his friends when he grows older," he added.

While the Kallang Roar will now make its return, members of the Juventus FC Supporters' Club (Singapore) will further spice up the atmosphere with a display usually seen in Italian football matches.

About 250 members of the supporters' group will be turning a part of the stadium into a "curva", an Italian term translated as "curved stands" but used to describe the section with the most vocal supporters of their clubs.

There, they will display banners and also belt out songs that are sung by their fans back in Italy. "We're excited to show the team our support as we never thought we'd see them play here," said Lim Liang Yi, head of the Juventus FC Supporters' Club (Singapore).

"Hopefully, we can make them feel at home with our curva display and show them that they have fans here in Singapore as well."

The game is the first of several football matches to be played at the National Stadium this year.

On Oct 14, the stadium will host a Fifa 'A' international friendly between Brazil and Japan, before co-hosting the Nov 22-Dec 20 biennial AFF Suzuki Cup.

For now, match organisers World Sports Group are focusing on making Saturday a day to remember for fans.

"In addition to the extraordinary atmosphere of simply being inside the wonderful new National Stadium... we have a full match build-up planned inside the stadium, including some elements that have not been done before in Singapore," said Malcolm Thorpe, WSG's vice-president of sports development and events.

"I would love to give more details but that would spoil the surprise so come down this Saturday and experience it for yourself."

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