A record-breaking 52,107 football supporters thronged the Singapore National Stadium last Saturday night. This was not only the largest crowd at our local sporting crown jewel, but also the largest-ever attendance figure at a single Barclays Asia Trophy match. Prior to this, the previous record had been set in the 2005 edition of the cup in Bangkok, Thailand, with 49,700 football fans.
And a total of 81,974 football fans watched the tournament over the two days of competition – this is the largest cumulative attendance ever, in the entire history of the tournament. Prior to this, the previous record was set during the 2007 edition in Hong Kong, with 76,386 supporters.
Plenty of other activities too
Besides the football matches, plenty of other activities also took place in Singapore last week. These included a knowledge transfer workshop where the Premier League and the clubs shard their expertise in business, with football power brokers from 17 Asian nations.
There was also a series of Phase 1 Premier Skills courses conducted by the Premier League, the British Council, Football Association of Singapore, Sports SG and the Asian Football Confederation. The aim of the latter was to develop the grassroots aspect of football in Singapore.
Premier League will continue to train promising football coaches
The Premier League will continue this work and give the Football Association of Singapore $150,000 to sustain the Singapore football legacy beyond the Barclays Asia Trophy. It will also continue to train coaches and referees over the next 18 months, through two further Premier Skills courses – so that the most promising talents unearthed during the earlier Phase 1 courses will have the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learnt and apply this to running their own community football coaching courses. These will be conducted by Premier League coaches.
Premier League is pleased by the BAT in Singapore
Premier League Executive Chairman, Richard Scudamore, is pleased with how the past week has gone in Singapore. He said, “This past week highlights what makes the Barclays Asia Trophy and the Premier League special – the excellent football taking place in a full and vibrant stadium. Singapore has helped us to put on our best-ever edition of the Barclays Asia Trophy and it has truly been a privilege to be here to celebrate Singapore’s 50th birthday.”
He also added that he was impressed by the level of commitments shown by the three Premier League clubs – Arsenal, Everton and Stoke City and the reception shown by Singaporean football fans.
Continued Scudamore, “V. Sundramoorthy’s professionalism and spirit and his Singapore Select XI also contributed greatly, both to the quality of the football and the competitive nature of the games.”