Tuesday, April 11, 2006

New trophy for nostalgic Singapore-Selangor rivalry


The island Republic of Singapore and the Malaysian state of Selangor will rekindle old friendships and contest for a new trophy when the all-star selections from both sides meet in May 2006 for the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup. According to the Football Association of Singapore website, the annual friendly fixture, now into its fifth edition, will be held at Singapore's National Stadium for the second time. “No one can erase the history between the two sides that harks back to the days when the old Malaya Cup started,” said Organizing Committee co-chairman Teo Hock Seng of Singapore. “We want to continue the fervent following of the rivalry between Selangor and Singapore. I am sure that we can draw a respectable crowd for this event.”

Teo’s Malaysian counterpart, Dato Abdul Karim Munisar, was also upbeat about the chances of the event’s continued success, after seeings crowds of 40,000 in 2004 and over 80,000 in 2005 when it was hosted at Selangor’s Shah Alam Stadium. “Many fans remember the nostalgic rivalry between Selangor and Singapore and this tie is sure to bring a special focus that will attract many spectators,” said Dato Karim. “The last two years have been a spectacular success with very good fan turnout, and I am sure we can continue to foster a good relationship between people from both sides.”

Besides maintaining old bonds, there will also be a new prize on offer, as the Sultan of Selangor has decided to raise the prestige factor of the event with a trophy he had personally acquired in London. The sparkling sterling silver trophy, valued at over S$100,000, is symbolic of "a friendship between two sides who share a football history which is almost 100 years old".

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