The region’s biggest football tournament, the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup is back this year and the Singapore Democratic Party’s vice-chairman Bryan Lim does not want to miss it. But to his dismay, when he tried to purchase tickets to the matches when they went on sale on Dec 5 he found they were all sold out.
Singapore’s national football team are drawn in Group B alongside causeway rivals Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Laos. The Lions will open their campaign against Myanmar at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Dec 24, before travelling for an away game to face Laos three days later.
The four-time AFF Championship winners will then host tournament favourite Vietnam on Dec 30 at 8.30pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Singapore’s final group match will be against Malaysia at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Jan 3 2023.
“During yesterday’s team meeting, a few of our SDP Marsiling – Yew Tee GRC volunteers alerted me that the regional AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup home game tickets would go on sale at noontime today,” posted Lim on his Facebook on Monday.
“I was a tad slower just now as both games sold out like hotcakes within minutes! Perhaps the FIFA World Cup has brought upon a ride on effect where widespread display of patriotism for the 32 participating nations is rife.”
Despite missing out on the Myanmar and Vietnam matches, the SDP vice-chair is content with watching the Lions in a friendly match. He also recounted his teenage years when he and his friends would support the Singapore national football team, even going up north to Malaysia.
“Nevertheless, I still settled for the consolation of the pre-tournament international friendly against the Maldives national football team as it has been ages since I catch our Lions live in action. In my younger days, I would brave the sunshine & rain with my pals to throng the old National Stadium to support our national team,” added Lim.
“I still hold fond memories of the time when I travelled to KL with my buddies in late December 2004 to catch the 1st leg semi-final of the regional championship against Myanmar. The pulsating game (which we eventually won 4-3), end-to-end action & electrifying atmosphere was most memorable.”
Lim said that he will be taking his son Lester to the international friendly match against Maldives as he has never watched a football game live at a stadium before.
The Lions are currently in Chiba, Japan for a training camp from 1 to 12 Dec where they are set to play two training matches.
“This upcoming training camp and the friendly match with the Maldives are key phases of our final preparations for the AFF ME Cup 2022. In Japan, we will face teams that possess similar playing styles to ASEAN teams, which will be of great benefit to us,” said head coach Takayuki Nishigaya.
The final tournament squad of 23 will be named after the Maldives match, ahead of Singapore’s Group B campaign against Myanmar on Dec 24.