Why Is Football Popular in Singapore?

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Football is also known formally as association football is widely considered the national sport of the city-nation of Singapore. The sport had its heyday in the 80s and 90s during the participation of the Singapore Lions in the Malaysia Cup where the club swept off most of the titles.

Singapore is also the residence of the Football Association of Singapore or FAS, it is the oldest football association in Asia with its origin from The Football Association in England. The FAS manages the national teams that include men’s, women’s, and youth divisions respectively.

The Singapore Lions, the team that dominated the Malaysia Cup, is not considered a national team. It is a separate entity designed to resemble the football clubs in Europe where foreign players and transfers can be included in the team. 

In this article, we will elaborate on why association football is very popular in Singapore and its continued dominance of the sport in Singaporean culture, entertainment and sports betting. 

Exposure to European Leagues

The popularity of football in Singapore can be attributed to the high television viewership and engagement in the sport. The English Premier League is a worldwide phenomenon and it is the most favorite sport in the world, and it is no wonder that Singaporeans love the sport too. 

It is obvious that football is the most-watched sport in the country and it is also the most appealing sport to participate in. Another evidence is that the football leagues are very well documented in television news, BBC football, articles, websites, social media, and online gambling Singapore. The EPL has a high television viewership worldwide and the events of the seasons are talked about in several media outlets in various countries.

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Singapore Premier League

Singapore has its professional football league for men’s association football clubs but is not well received by football fans compared to EPL. The Singapore Premier League or SPL was founded in 1996 and was previously known as S. League with only eight founding clubs in its roster. The S. League during its peak in the 80s and 90s amassed at least 30,000 crowds during these times. 

The Football Association of Singapore founded the S. League but before that Singapore had already swept the Malaysia Cup from 1921 to 1994 where the football team Singapore Lions dominated the competition.

The supporters of the S. League dwindled over the years as the popularity of European leagues rose and became a worldwide phenomenon. This reason made the organizers of the S. League rebranded the league in 2018 into Singapore Premier League or SPL in the hopes to attract new supporters and players to SPL and also punters to sports betting Singapore.

Rise of the Amateur Leagues

The Football Association of Singapore also recognizes the existence of semi-professional and amateur leagues in Singapore. The National Football League or NFL is a semi-professional football league that makes up the second and third tier of the football hierarchy in Singapore after the SPL.

The Singapore Cosmopolitan Football League is currently the longest-standing amateur football league in Singapore where it was founded in 1975, it is also the home to ex-professional and expatriate players who can’t participate in major leagues like SPL. Other amateur leagues are recognized by FAS such as Singapore Island Wide League, Equatorial Football League, and ESPZEN Football League.

National Teams

The Football Association of Singapore also managed the football national teams that are divided into three divisions: men’s, women’s, and youth. The national teams competed in international and regional tournaments such as the AFC, FIFA World Cup, and SEA Games.

Facilities

The FAS continues to develop facilities to further improve the football situation in Singapore and train new athletes. The former National Stadium was the previous home of the Singaporean National Team. The team moved to Jalan Besar Stadium while the former stadium is transitioning to the new Singapore Sports Hub. today, both facilities are being used by the national teams.

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Why Is Football Popular in Singapore?
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