For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Will THEY Be Here Next Year for ICCSG?

Inter FC's skipper Miranda lifts the ICCSG trophy (Getty Images for ICC)
The crowning of FC Internazionale Milano, or commonly known as Inter FC globally, as the inaugural winners of the International Champaions Cup Singapore (ICCSG) tournament marked the end of the event that was heralded as a success by the organizers.

EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS ...
In a media statement issued shortly after the 2-1 victory by "I Nerazzurri" over English champions Chelsea FC at the National Stadium, the event organizers Catalyst Media Group (CMG) noted the tournament had "exceeded our expectations".

Said Mr Patrick Murphy, President of CMG:"The tournament has exceeded our expectations in the first year. We are here for the next three years and we are looking forward to continuing to build the relationship with the football fans in Singapore and the region.

"We are obviously delighted with the spectacular support we have received from the fans as well as the incredible atmosphere around the matches and the city." he added.

In order to drum up awareness prior to the start of ICCSG, "Football In The City" a series of fringe activities were organized at Clarke Quay to entice fans with goodies such as winning access passes to attend clubs' official training sessions during the event.

Bayern Munich legend Miroslav Klose (right) made his presence (Getty Images for ICC)
On top of that, clubs like Chelsea and reigning Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, the third participating side, also had booths set up to offer opportunities to allow their fans to take pictures with the league title trophies they won when the ICCSG was held at the Singapore Sports Hub.

REGIONAL PRESENCE ...
Being the first of its kind in South East Asia since its inception in 2013, the ICCSG not only saw Singaporean supporters turned out in numbers to show their adulation to their favorite teams, regional supporters also made their boisterous presence felt during the tournament with a huge contingent of Indonesian fans of Inter FC occupied a sector of the stand behind one of the goalposts in their showdown against Chelsea.

The Indonesian fans of Inter FC (Getty Images for ICC)
"We are heartened that everyone involved in this year's ICC (International Champaions Cup) has had a memorable time here in Singapore," elated Ms Melissa Ow, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, one of ICCSG co-organizers, in the same statement.

"This is an encouraging start to our four-year commitment in bringing top-class football action to South East Asia and we look forward to building on this foundation to enhance the fan experience." added Ms Ow on the four-year partnership with CMG inked earlier to anchor the ICC tournament in Singapore, as an exclusive South East Asian stop.

With the success of this year's ICCSG, it could possibly open up opportunities to have more top class teams in action at Kallang over the upcoming three editions such the likes of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Polish star Robert Lewandowski (second from left) in action for Bayern against Chelsea
It was reported the recent ICC showdown of the "El Clásico" duo in the States had ticket holders to fork out at least US$200.

While the exorbitant rates may be charged to see the La Liga giants in south Florida, the economy spin-off for the city of Miami, where the match was played, was enormous as reported in this article.

WILL "THEY" BE HERE NEXT YEAR?
It is without any doubt that hosting events such as ICCSG could generate a potential financial windfall for the tourism industry as shown in the Miami example but with the World Cup to take place next year in Russia, some fans are concerned if some of top players would made their presence in the Lion City next year after the sport's biggest extravaganza.

"Given the World Cup to be held next year (in Russia), I am not certain if Singapore and regional fans are likely to see some of the top stars in ICCSG action after that, as fatigue could be a reason for not having them here." said a fan who wanted to be known as SSL who cited the examples of the absence of Bayern's Niklas Süle and Arturo Vidal due to their just concluded Confederation Cup commitments with their national teams from this year's tournament.

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