Singapore clubs chip in for quake relief

SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Singapore league champions Etoile FC have invited the Malaysian national team to play a charity match later this month, donating all gate receipts to disaster relief efforts in Japan following the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

"The news on Japan is everywhere, in every newspaper. You cannot be untouched by what is happening there," Etoile FC chairman Johan Gouttefangeas told Reuters on Friday.

"I am very concerned about the situation in Japan, even though we are in a very safe place. My brother is in Japan, he is safe. We also have a lot of friends in Japan," he added.

"We are in a position to use football to do something good, and I feel this is what we could do and what we should do."

Japanese side Albirex Nigiita Singapore have also organised a fundraising gala dinner and match featuring four former Japanese internationals, including Hidetoshi Nakata, who plied his trade in Serie A and the English Premier League.

The charity game between Etoile FC and Southeast Asian champions Malaysia is scheduled for March 26 at the Jalan Besar Stadium, while Albirex Nigiita Singapore will play an S.League all-star side on April 2.

More than 10,000 people were killed and 17,500 remain missing in the disaster, according to latest police figures. But even those numbers have been eclipsed by the possibility of a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, just 250-km (150 miles) north of Tokyo.