Brazil's Clube dos 13 signs MOU with Singapore

Clube dos 13, which represents the interests of the 20 major football clubs in Brazil, has signed an agreement with the Singapore Sports Council and Football Association of Singapore to explore working opportunities and football development with the island city state. Brazil's ambassador to Singapore Paulo Alberto da Silveira Soares told the Straits Times that Singapore had been chosen as it had had close ties with Brazil in the past, in areas such as the shipyard industry. "With our help who says Singapore cannot make it to the World Cup finals in 2010 or 2014?" he said.

The Brazilians will be exploring the possibility of bringing in star players from its member clubs to play an exhibition match, the two sides will propose courses, clinics, club attachments and seminars and both parties will study the exciting possibility of bringing Brazilian football teams and Brazilian football players for the purpose of participating in the S-League or Singapore domestic or regional football competitions.

Dr Fábio André Koff, President of the Clube dos 13 said,“ We are here on a mission of friendship and co-operation to help develop world class players and to help them in Asia, to possibly embark on an international career. There are many areas of expertise that we would be happy to share with our partners in Singapore and in Asia.”

The Clube dos 13 was founded in 1987 by the representatives of the 13 leading football teams in Brazil, to represent TV broadcasting rights and other marketing rights of the Brazilian National Championship. Its members now include Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo, Flamengo, Vasco, Fluminese, Botafogo, Grêmio, Internacional, Cruzeiro, Atlético Mineiro, Bahia, Cortiba, Goiás, Sport Recife, Portugesa, Vitoria, Guarani and Atlético Paranaense.

Mr Oon Jin Teik, Chief Executive Officer, Singapore Sports Council said,“This MOU signing with Clube dos 13 marks a new chapter in the development of the sport of football in Singapore. For the first time, Singapore football has been invited to work with an entire professional league. This alliance will see us reaping benefits in the areas of broad-based participation, excellence development for players, coaches and officials, as well as football and league management. I believe this exposure ultimately helps us in strengthening our sports knowledge component which will go towards developing strong commercial working models for team sports in future.”

The SSC is Singapore’s lead agency tasked with developing sports in Singapore. Its vision is to create a Sporting Singapore where sports is a way of life. SSC aims to develop sports champions and create enjoyable sporting experiences for Singapore through the three strategic thrusts of cultivating a sporting culture, achieving sports excellence and creating a vibrant sports industry. It is a statutory board under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

Zainudin Nordin, Deputy President, Football Association of Singapore, said, "We have been invited and we are looking at how we can work that out as soon as possible. We will also see what are the areas, the clubs that we want to visit."

Chief Executive Officer of Singapore's S-League, Winston Lee said the collaboration involves various aspects. "On the pitch, we will have football clinics, coaching clinics, players' attachment schemes and teams' attachment schemes. 'Off the pitch, we're looking at the commercial aspects. We will also look into the sharing of expertise in administration and football management. Brazil are the top country in football. Naturally, we want to align ourselves with the best," he told the New Paper.