Officials hoping star-studded ICC event can awaken Singapore's footballing passion

Sport Singapore (SG) are hoping to build on the heavyweight power of the 2017 International Champions Cup (ICC) on home shores when they stage the inaugural ‘Singapore Football Week’.

Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will be visiting the city-state at the end of July and will play two games each in the ICC.

In hopes that their presence will boost Singaporeans’ interest in football, Sport SG will be working with various partners to host a multitude of football-related events across the island during that duration.

One of the reasons why we felt we could do this is because we do see there are a surprising number of football businesses in the market today

- Lim Teck Yin

From July 22 to 29, a minimum of 23 events will be held by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), EPSON and other organisations.

As part of 'Football Week', Sky Sports Singapore Private Limited will even be opening up their SKYPARK ARENA facilities to the public for free for that week.

Although there will be a huge number of events held in that one week, Sport SG chief executive Lim Teck Yin was optimistic the local fraternity would not suffer from ‘football fatigue’.

“I think the ‘Football Week’ is really brought in because of the ICC … we are collaborating with the FAS, that’s why the FAS president is here,” Lim said.

“One of the reasons why we felt we could do this is because we do see that there are a surprising number of football businesses out there in the market today. Easily more than 40.”

The three big European clubs will be in town soon

While Lim is setting a target of 100,000 participants for ‘Football Week’, he insisted the association will not necessarily pull the plug on the project if the actual participation rate fell short of their numbers.

“There is no metric of failure, there's only metrics to see what you can improve on for next time,” he added.

These people are actually watching football connected with overseas football, so the popularity at our local level (has to improve)

- Lim Kia Tong

FAS president Lim Kia Tong lauded Sport SG’s initiative and promised that fans can look forward to some exciting activities.

The FAS will be hosting several friendly matches with ex-international stars and celebrities as well as a unique movie screening experience at Jalan Besar Stadium.

“This ‘Football Week’ I must say is an excellent idea coming from Sport SG,” Lim Kia Tong said.

“You know football is a popular sport, so we have to look at the platform and avenue as how to sustain its popularity or to bring its popularity to a different dimension.

“If we talked about football as a whole, football has in fact got hold of many people but these people are actually watching football connected with overseas football, so the popularity at our local level (has to improve).

“We are working in close partnership with Sport SG and FAS has various activities in mind to roll out during this ‘Football Week’.”

Main photo: Flona