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 By Gabriel Tan

Sultan of Selangor's Cup aimed at reviving Kallang Roar in Singapore

Singapore coach Varadaraju Sundramoorthy reveals his hopes for the team in 2017 and beyond.

Bringing back the "Kallang Roar" could be one of the main benefits of holding the Sultan of Selangor's Cup at the new National Stadium for the first time.

Singapore has been confirmed as the host of this year's match, with 2017 marking the 16th edition of the friendly tournament that was introduced to commemorate the old rivalry between Singapore and Selangor.

In recent times, a Singapore Selection side has travelled up north to participate in the tournament.

But, for the first time in eight years, Selangor will be the visitors in 2017, with the game held at the Sports Hub, which was reopened three years ago.

Lim Kia Tong, president of the Football Association of Singapore's provisional council, expressed delight at hosting Selangor this time around.

"We have been working hard with our partners to increase the vibrancy of local football and bring the Kallang Roar back," said Lim.

Unlike the previous few editions, this year's Sultan of Selangor Cup will be played in Singapore.

"Football is a unique sport that brings together people from all walks of life to cheer as one.

"The Sultan of Selangor's Cup is one such avenue, as it highlights the historical friendly rivalry between Singapore and Selangor.

"We look forward to welcoming the Selangor players and fans to Singapore, and three exciting matches for fans to enjoy."

The game is usually preceded by a curtain raiser of a veterans' match, comprising famous names from years' past.

This year, however, a third generation will also get to taste the famous rivalry as a "Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup" has also been introduced, pitting Under-16 boys of the Singapore Sports School against a Selangor Combined Schools team.

"The addition of the inaugural Singapore-Selangor Schools Challenge Cup match is to include and involve the youth who are our future, and will further strengthen and ensure continuity in the traditional ties between Singapore and Selangor through football," Teo Hock Seng, co-chairman of the tournament, explained.

The Sultan of Selangor's Cup is the latest addition of what is set to be a busy schedule for the National Stadium. Last week, it was confirmed that it would also be hosting Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Inter Milan for the International Champions Cup in July.

"We are excited to host the 2017 Sultan of Selangor's Cup, which returns to Singapore for the first time in eight years," said Singapore Sports Hub CEO Manu Sawhney.

"From the FAS Women's Challenge Cup in December 2016, to the recently-held Community Shield, upcoming International Champions Cup in July, and now the Sultan of Selangor's Cup, we continue building our football programming, and offering sports fans even more choice of events at the Singapore Sports Hub.

"This May, we look forward to welcoming the two most successful sides in Malaysia Cup history to play in the National Stadium; football fans from Singapore and abroad for a taste of classic football rivalry; and hearing the Kallang Roar once more."

Gabriel Tan is a TV and radio pundit who writes for ESPN FC and The New Paper on Southeast Asian football. Twitter: @gabetan13.


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