A four-year partnership agreement between the Football Association of Singapore and the Football Association of Malaysia will see an exchange of youth-based clubs in their respective domestic leagues and cup tournaments from 2012.
Singapore will be represented in the Malaysian Super League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup by the Singapore Lions, a team comprised of U-23 national players, five players above the age of 23 and foreign players as permitted by the competitions.
In turn, a Malaysian team, the Malaysian Tigers, comprised mainly of U-23 national players, will join the S-League, League Cup and Singapore Cup.
The agreement also provides for an increase in friendly matches between the national teams of the two countries, as well as the birth of two new annual tournament which will see the winners of both leagues do battle over two legs. The League Champions Challenge will see the champions of the S.League and the Malaysia Super League compete in a home-and-away format while the Cup Winners Challenge will be a home-and-away match-up between the Singapore Cup and Malaysia Cup champions.
Referring to the stirring provincial clashes up to 17 years ago, when Singapore participated alongside Malaysian states, FAS president Zainudin Nordin reflected: "There is always a special romance between Singapore and Malaysian football. The key points of this partnership cannot be achieved overnight, but these are positive developments and it's a win-win situation for both parties."