War over between Singapore Athletics and Soh Rui Yong

The newly elected management team at Singapore Athletics (SA) has ended its dispute with two-time Southeast Asian Games  gold medalist Soh Rui Yong. 

In a statement put up on its website, SA said that “through extensive engagement with Mr Soh by the new leadership in the two weeks since assuming office, we are pleased to announce that the Association and Mr Soh have agreed to put an end to all their disagreements, and double down on efforts to work together for the betterment of the athletics community, the sport, and the nation’s regional and international aspirations.”

The SA said in its statement that it “extends its sincere apology to Mr Soh for any inconvenience and distress that the aforesaid statement caused him” and will also “stand down the disciplinary proceedings initiated by the outgoing management on 25 September 2020 against Mr Soh.”

Soh has also agreed to withdraw all of his lawsuits against the Association. 

The SA also added that it is committed to supporting Mr Soh “to once again don national colours and compete for Singapore against the best in the region and the world”.

In a Facebook post, Soh said, “After 14 months, it’s nice to have the issue finally resolved!  

“I now look forward to breaking new ground by becoming the first Singaporean man to qualify for the Commonwealth Games Marathon and Asian Games Marathon in 2022.”

See full post by Soh.

Photo: Soh Rui Yong

I want to win everything: Stipe Plazibat

Did Stipe Plazibat just suggest that Hougang United had no ambition? 

One of the moves which made heads turn just ahead of the restart of the Singapore Premier League is striker Stipe Plazibat’s transfer to Lion City Sailors for an undisclosed fee.

31-year-old Plazibat scored nine goals in six matches across all competitions while a Hougang United forward at the start of the year before the suspension of all competitions due to Covid-19.

In quotes to the New Paper, the striker said, “I’m very happy to move to a club who suit my ambition as I want to win everything.”

Hougang are currently in fifth spot in the standings while the Lion City Sailors are second from bottom in eighth position. 

Other players who currently play for the sailors include Gabriel Quak (29), Hassan Sunny (36) and Shahdan Sulaiman (32).

Apart from Plazibat, other ‘new’ faces to take to the field with the restart of the league include Baihakki Khaizan and Fazrul Nawaz, who will both appear for the Stags. 

Photo: Stipe Plazibat / Instagram

Warriors FC seek return to Singapore Premier League and Cup for 2021.

One of Singapore’s most iconic football clubs in Singapore – the Warriors Football Club (WRFC) – has submitted a formal note to the the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) seeking a return to the Singapore Premier League (SPL) and Singapore Cup competitions for 2021.

With statutory taxes and salaries owed, the WRFC were asked to sit out the 2020 competitions after falling into debt. 

The club is now seeking a return to the competitions after clearing a substantial portion of the debt and also after reaching agreements with the authorities on repayment of taxes owed.

In a Facebook post put up on 12 October, the WRFC said that it “has a rich history in Singapore football, which spans more than two decades.”

“Since the start of the professional football league in Singapore in 1996, the Warriors have won the league title 9 times, and have lifted the Singapore Cup on 4 occasions.”

The club added that it had also been “constantly supporting the community through all our programmes like participating in the women’s competitions, being involved in the WRFC Yew Tee Day 2019 and also having organised the Kidz Warriors program for boys and girls of ages eight to 14, and so much more.”

When WRFC sat out the league for the 2020 season, Tanjong Pagar United were given the right to play in the competitions after sitting out for five years from 2015 to 2019.

“Together, we will help the Warriors get back on top again,” it said at the end of its post. 

Main Photo: Warriors FC

He is headed to Coventry University.

He kept many football fans wondering all of Sunday if he was indeed headed to Coventry, which competes in the English Championship.

But Singapore Lions and Johor Darul Takzim skipper Hariss Harun finally revealed in a follow up Facebook post on Monday that while he will be headed to Coventry, it is not actually for football but for education. 

“I will be embarking in a new challenge while I continue my playing career with JDT. 

“I have been offered the PSB ACADEMY SPORTS EXCELLENCE EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP to study bachelor’s program with Coventry University. 

“I am super excited to take up the new challenge with the blessing and support from my family, friends, JDT and PSB Academy. It is still Coventry.”

The post was a follow up to his Facebook post on Sunday which garnered more than 300 shares which ended by saying: “Coventry here I come.”

Photo: Hariss Harun

Hariss Harun says he is headed to Coventry.

Singapore skipper Hariss Harun has revealed in a Facebook post that he is headed to Coventry. 

In a Facebook post which was put up just past 1pm on 11 October, Hariss Harun said: “I have just signed. Coventry here I come.”

It is not clear what exactly Hariss has signed for though.

Coventry the football club, which is well known in this part of the region among football fans for having had the likes of Dion Dublin, Gordon Strachan and Robbie Keane in their ranks, participate in the English Championship, which is the second tier after the Premier League. 

They are in 18th spot currently. 

It is unclear if Hariss has obtained a work permit to play in England but if administrative details are cleared and if he is given the go-ahead, he will be Singapore’s first player to play in the English Championship. 

There is also speculation that Hariss is headed to Coventry University to further his studies, according to a Facebook post on the Playmaker.

Another former Singapore international who has played in England albeit in a lower league in recent history is Daniel Bennett, who turned up for Welsh side Wrexham in the third division in the early 2000s.

This story is developing. 

Photo: Hariss Harun

SPL matches to resume on 17 Oct as all 223 players and officials tested negative.

The AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) will restart on 17 October six months after it was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All 223 players and match officials who were tested for Covid-19 were also returned negative.

The announcement was made by Culture, Community and Sports Minister Edwin Tong, who is also Second Law Minister.

In a Facebook post, he said, “Glad to hear that the Covid-19 swab test results came back negative for all 223 players and match officials. 

“Coaches and team officials will be masked up during games, alongside other safe management measures. 

“Only the 22 players and 4 match referees on the field can be unmasked.

“We won’t be able to watch the matches live at the stadium just yet. 

“But you and your loved ones can still catch them on live-streams and selected cable broadcast channels.”

Matches will be broadcast on Singtel TV, StarHub TV and myCujoo as well as streamed online via the SPL and 1 Play Sports Facebook pages.

In a statement posted on the Football Association of Singapore website, FAS President Lim Kia Tong said, “We are extremely pleased with the decision announced by MCCY on the resumption of the SPL. 

“This is an outcome that the FAS and the SPL clubs, along with Sport Singapore and the relevant government authorities, have worked tirelessly towards in recent weeks. 

“Our utmost thanks and appreciation go out to the various government agencies who have helped in making the resumption happen.”

However, question marks still remain over the participation of Brunei side and defending champions DPMM FC and the Wasps have been given till 12 October to respond to a suggestion to have all their remaining matches played in Singapore.

Said Mr Lim, “Brunei DPMM FC has been an integral part of our League for years and their continued participation on its resumption is very much treasured. 

“Currently, they are a part of the competition format on resumption. We have provided Brunei DPMM FC with an option of having their matches played in Singapore considering the recommended protocols. 

“We await their response by Monday 12 October after which we will make the necessary preparations for the resumption. We remain hopeful that they will provide a favourable reply to our proposal.”

The Singapore Cup 2020 competition has been annulled. 

Photo: FAS

Cooking up a curry bomb for a good cause.

The Singapore Swimming Association (SSA), Neo Garden – its Official Food and Beverage Partner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling have launched a fund-raising campaign.

Neo Garden will pledge 10,000 of Neo Garden’s signature dish, “Curry Bomb” to the campaign.

The proceeds from the campaign will go towards The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and SSA’s One Team Singapore Fund.

The duration of the fundraising campaign will be from 6 October to 31 December 2020. 

Schooling tried his hands at preparing the “Curry Bomb” with guidance from Operations Manager, Jacqueline Teoh.

Schooling was shown the intricacies of preparing the dish, from getting the curry started, to cooking the chicken, as well as making the dough for the bread and finally putting the dish together.

“Cooking is one of my hobbies and I had a great time learning from the experts this afternoon. I would like to thank Mr Neo and Neo Garden for their generosity. The funds will go a long way towards helping those in need. It will also give the swim team a great boost as we continue to train towards Tokyo,” said Schooling.

“We are very delighted to be able to work with Singapore Swimming Association on this fundraising campaign. Especially in these trying times, we are pleased to be able to contribute back to society. Neo Garden and SSA have had a fruitful partnership for the past five years, and we look forward to further collaborations”, said Mr Neo Kah Kiat, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Neo Group Limited.

To support this campaign, Singaporeans can place their order of curry bombs@neogarden.com.sg or call 6896 7757 and use the following promotion code, “SSANEO”.

Each curry bomb costs $18.80 before GST.

SSA has also launched the campaign on Giving.Sg for other donors who may wish to contribute to this campaign.

Donors can visit giving.sg/singapore-swimming-association/currybombfund.

Photo: Singapore Swimming Association

E-Gala raises $125,000 for Chiam See Tong Sports Fund.

The Chiam See Tong Sports Fund (CSTSF) has managed to raise more than $125,000 in aid of under-resourced athletes through its “LIVE FOR SPORTS” E-Gala Dinner held on 2 October.

Apart from Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong who was the event’s Guest of Honour, the CSTSF dinner also featured performances by artistes Jack and Rai, Leandra Lane and Mexico-based Singaporean band Iluminari.

The event was broadcast ‘LIVE’ on the CSTSF Facebook page. 

“The challenge, if any, for the organizing team was to coordinate and create value for our donors, especially since we could not bring people together under one roof for an event. We are thankful for the support through Minister Edwin Tong, our supporting partners and all our donors,” said Mr Jose Raymond, Chairman of the Organising Committee and Director of the Board of the CSTSF. 

“We will always aim to do better, and hopefully we will be able to thank everyone face to face at our next fundraising dinner. It is this multi-collaborative approach in sports which we hope will help develop many young athletes who will become Singapore champions in the future,” he added.

Mr Raymond was assisted by Mr Damon Yong (Director of the CSTSF Board) and Mr Douglas Danapal (the Chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the CSTSF and Commercial Director of the Singapore Rugby Union) for the fundraiser.

Added Mr Tong, who delivered a message and who also greeted the artistes prior to the start of the broadcast of the event, “There is an athlete in every one of us – and it is embodied in our spirit of determination to succeed, to be better than we thought we could be, to learn resilience from losing, and show grace when winning. We are committed to helping every Singaporean who desires to be an athlete, whether in casual sports or to walk the path with the champions amongst us. I would like to thank Mr Chiam See Tong and the Chiam See Tong Sports Fund for their unwavering support towards nurturing the sporting spirit in Singapore.”

Donors who made purchases for the dinner which cost either $500 or $1000 had a nine-course meal delivered to their homes, some directly from the Directors of the Board and the CSTSF ambassadors like national basketballer Ng Han Bin and Matthias Yap.

With the help of web solutions service provider RAWR Global, the CSTSF digitalized the donation process for the dinner by integrating a dinner page on the CSTSF website, which allowed all donors to purchase a package and make a payment electronically.

The CSTSF also received support for its fundraiser through online broadcaster 1 Play Sports which provided content and technical support for the live streaming of the “LIVE FOR SPORTS” E-Gala. 

Since launching in March 2017, the CSTSF has assisted more than 30 athletes, including modern pentathlete Kok Kiat Xuan, national powerlifters Matthew Yap, Matthias Yap, sailor Olivia Chen, national floorball player Siti Nurhaliza and track and field athlete Marc Brian Louis, among others.

This is the third fundraising dinner organised by the CSTSF since launching in 2017. In 2017, world renowned rugby referee Nigel Owens was the Guest of Honour at the event, while former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong graced the fundraiser as the Guest of Honour in 2019. 

Photos: SW Strategies

1 Play Sports partners Chiam See Tong Sports Fund for E-Gala fundraiser.

The Chiam See Tong Sports Fund (CSTSF) received a shot in the arm ahead of the “LIVE for Sports E-Gala 2020” fundraiser which will take place on 2 October. 

On 30 September, online broadcaster and streaming firm 1 Play Sports confirmed a partnership that will see the online broadcast experts provide technical expertise and backup for the dinner event, which will be broadcast ‘LIVE’ on Facebook.

1 Play Sports has also made a direct donation towards the fundraiser.

Said Mr. Mohit Lalvani, Chief Executive of 1 Play Sports, “The Chiam See Tong Sports Fund supports under-resourced athletes and there is a lot of synergy in the work which both 1 Play Sports and the CSTSF are involved in. Our objective has always been to utilize our resources to fuel the creation and growth of sports champions from grassroots level up and 1 Play Sports is grateful to be part of this fundraiser”.

The CSTSF E-Gala is a virtual dinner that will see guests receiving their food packages from the local restaurant The Salted Plum delivered to their doorsteps, which will be followed by a programme which will be delivered ‘LIVE’ on the CSTSF Facebook page. 

Artistes Jack and Rai, Leandra Lane, and Mexico-based Singaporean band Iluminari will be performing during the programme, which will also include an online auction conducted by auctioneer Shaun Mcewan.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong is the Guest of Honour for the event. 

Said Jose Raymond, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the CSTSF ‘LIVE” for Sports E-Gala 2020, “We are more than honoured to have 1 Play Sports support us in our fundraiser this year. 

“As the entire event will be broadcast ‘live’ via our online platforms, we are glad to have 1 Play Sports who are considered experts in the area of online broadcast and streaming, support our fundraising endeavours. Like the CSTSF, 1 Play Sports is also about helping local community sports athletes develop, which makes it a very meaningful partnership.”

Packages that cost $500 and $1000 each are still available for purchase through the CSTSF website.

Season ending race to hunt for top simracers to represent Legion of Racers.

The Legion of Racers is on the hunt to sign four professional athletes for the 2021 season in a bid to expand the team roster. 

The four simracers who will earn contracts will also get a chance to show off their skills in the first-ever Battle of the Racers (BOTR) which will be organised by LOR on 31 October 2020.

However, the four top talents who will be signed to the team will not just be based on the results from the season ending BOTR. 

Explained LOR co-founder Melvin Moh, “Results alone will not determine who earns the pro contract with the Legion of Racers. There is a lot which goes into the development of a pro athlete, apart from performance.

“As such, we will also make assessments of an athletes’ commitment, communication skills, team-work and personality. It is very much like a talent hunt to get the best simracers to work in a team, to help grow the Legion of Racers brand.”

Apart from earning an annual salary as a pro athlete with LOR, simracers signed by LOR will have opportunities to participate in simracing competitions under the LOR flag. 

Since establishing as a team in 2018, the LOR has signed up Aleef Muhammad, Jaden Low, Jason Tay, Nur Shazliezhan, Andika Rama and Luis Moreno as pro athletes. 

All six athletes will be on the grid to fight for their spots to be on the LOR roster, and will face off against the likes of Jonathan Wong and Naquib Azlan who have confirmed their participation.

The LOR will also be organising a Qualifier Race for PC users and the top 3 will get on the grid to race off against the rest in the BOTR.

The simracers in BOTR will be racing against each other in Assetto Corsa, the same title which has been identified as a medal sport at the upcoming Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Bangkok in May 2021.

“Ultimately, we are hoping that Singapore’s top simracers can represent Singapore at the major games such as the Asian Indoor Games if there are opportunities as it is our dream that one of our simracers will eventually win a medal at major Games or global competitions,” added Moh.

Follow Legion of Racers on their Facebook@LegionOfRacers for updates and more details.