File photo shows DPMM FC’s defender Hazwan bin Hamzah vying for the ball during a Singapore Premier League match. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE
BY Fadhil Yunus
The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) will implement strict protocols to ensure the safety of match-day personnel during the remaining matches in the AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) for the 2020 season.
The Singapore Premier League will resume tomorrow after nearly seven months of enforced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures will be employed as advised by Singapore’s Health Promotion Board (HPB), Ministry of Health and Sport Singapore (SportSG).
Supporters are not allowed to attend matches as all matches will be played behind closed doors with only essential match-day officials present.
Only a certain group of people will be allowed entry including players and team officials from participating clubs, match officials, FAS officials, medical personnel, match-day operations personnel, and broadcast and media personnel.
According to the FAS, entry for these essential personnel will be staggered across a five-hour period before kick-off for every match. Similarly, departure after every match will also be controlled across a one-hour period after the final whistle.
Five match-day zones will be designated including broadcasting, stand (staggered areas in spectator stands), entrance, official area (tunnel, dressing room) and field of play. Access to these zones will be controlled to prevent inter-mingling.
All match-day personnel are required to wear face masks at all times except for players and match referees who are in action during the match and warm-up activities.
Chief (General Secretary’s Office) of FAS Gerard Christopher said, “The FAS has worked closely with the relevant authorities in developing these protocols and we would like to express our gratitude and appreciation to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth and Sport of Singapore for their invaluable assistance.
“As the first local professional league competition to be allowed to resume, the FAS recognises the responsibility it bears to ensure that the league is able to function as smoothly and safely as possible, with the inherent safety measures.”
The resumption of the league will see Tanjong Pagar United FC taking on Balestier Khalsa at the Jurong East Stadium in a 5.30pm kick-off, and the match between Tampines Rovers FC and Hougang United FC is set to run simultaneously at Our Tampines Hub.
The league is set to be completed before the end of the calendar year as it will be carried out in a condensed format where teams will play two rounds instead of three.
-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin