I was thinking if was it possible to come up with two separate blog posts or should I put everything together to consolidate into one given the scarcity of the materials? Even though they shared some connections along the way for having an intertwined history, yet had to go separate ways after some evolution along the way.
|The old logo of MCFA (left) and the logo of SCFA (right)|
Nonetheless, should you have any material or details about the aforementioned subjects, please feel free to email me in order to enrich this blog post, thanks.
According to an article of the souvenir publication produced by Singapore Chinese Football Association (SCFA) for their social and dance held on 15 December 1956, this umbrella body of Chinese football teams in Singapore was founded in 1911 after a meeting was held on 20th of May at Chinese Chamber of Commerce as "Straits Chinese Football Association" and opened its doors to all Chinese football clubs to join the organization as their members.
The first tournament organized by SCFA was known as the Fairy Dale Cup with the opening match contested between Mt Walich Club and White Star Football Club on 15th of July 1911 at the field of St Joseph School and this maiden match was won two-nil by latter.
|The souvenir magazine produced by SCFA in 1956 (NLB archive)|
As the game grew in popularity, competitions such as the HMS Malaya Cup and Ho Ho Cup (inter-port tournament contested by Hong Kong and Malayan Chinese) were organized and proved to be a hit with local football fans.
And it was presumably after the first Ho Ho Cup played in Hong Kong followed by a tournament in Canton (now Guangzhou) participated by a group of Malayan Chinese footballers (with players from Singapore as well) in 1928 that the proposal to form a football association for the Malayan Chinese community surfaced in August that year.
|The proposal to form MCFA, as reported by NYSP (NLB archive)|
"After a meeting was convened last weekend at Kuala Lumpur to discuss the proposal, representatives from Selangor, Perak and Negri Sembilan are hopeful of the eventual formation of such organization whose utmost task will be selecting a Malayan Chinese squad to play against visiting teams from Hong Kong and Shanghai in next April." added this Chinese-language broadsheet founded by entrepreneur Tan Kah Kee in 1923.
Three months later on 23rd November 1928, the Malayan Chinese Football Association (MCFA) was founded in Kuala Lumpur and confirmed blue and white as the association's primary colours, although it mandated when facing "foreign opponents" the team jersey would be a vest with tiger stripes print, according to the NYSP's report on the founding of the organization.
|The formation of MCFA (red sidelined), as reported by NYSP (NLB archive)|
|SCFA's friendly match against Bengal Gymkhana at Anson Road Stadium in 1924 (Mr Luke Foong Chi Yow)|
The visit by "South China" (a combined team that made up of Hong Kong footballers) in May 1929 to Malaya saw them played a series of matches in places like Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca upon their arrival in Singapore where they faced a SCFA selection at the Anson Road Stadium on the 13th before taking on a MCFA side in the second Ho Ho Cup match on the same venue three days later.
Such exchanges begun the trend and resulted frequent interactions of the football communities between these regions during the British rule that sustained (barring the Pacific War period) till the 1980s when competitions such as Aw Hoe Cup and Por Yen Cup were held.
Reconstitution After War
Just liked many sports and other recreational activities, the activities of both SCFA and MCFA came to a stop during the Japanese Occupation and resumed after the war with the Singapore body revived itself in late November 1945, the Malayan body followed suit in a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur's Selangor Chinese Recreation Club on 31st of January 1948 and elected "Rubber and Pineapple King" Lee Kong Chian as the president of the reconstituted MCFA.
|The reconstitution of MCFA in 1948 (NLB archive)|
However, changes in political climate since the return of the British witnessed inevitable alteration in structure of MCFA when the Malayan authority deregistered the organization in 1960.
Citing the fact that Malaya was already an independent nation and Singapore was a self-governing territory under the British, the Malayan Registry of Society stated SCFA, being an organization of a foreign country, should not be an affiliate of a Malayan organization and struck MCFA off their registry despite a number of prior notifications to request necessary amendment to the MCFA's constitution.
|MCFA was declared an illegal body in 1960 (NLB archive)|
Even after the Separation in August 1965 that saw Singapore became an independent sovereign nation, SCFA maintained its affiliation with the MCFA until 1978 when the Malaysian authority came knocking the doors again citing the same reason used in 1960.
The outcome did not see the repeat of the 1960 saga but saw the Singaporeans (who was by then renamed as Singapore Chinese Football Club (SCFC) in March 1970) relinquished their membership from MCFA after a resolution was passed in the latter's AGM on 30th March 1978 that ended the association between these two bodies since 1928 but SCFC continued to take part in the marquee MCFA Cup competition on invitational basis after the perpetual breaking up.
|SCFC withdrawn its MCFA membership in 1978 (NLB archive)|
(P.S 1: Some images in this entry were reproduced from NLB online archives, as credited, should anyone feel it's inappropriate to have any of the media shown, please kindly email me as soon as possible and I will remove them upon request.)
(P.S 2: I stand to be corrected should there be any mistake in this entry, please feel free to email me if there is, thanks)