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Singapore’s Most Successful Side Set to Miss Out the 2020 Season

Steven Danis

Football Tribe Indonesia


Warriors Football Club, Singapore’s most successful football club with 9 Singapore Premier League titles and 4 Singaporean Cup titles, will miss out the 2020 season as the club had financial problems since the end of 2018.

FOX Sports Asia first reported on 10th January that the Football Association of Singapore has rejected Warriors’ proposal for this season because the club may not meet their future financial sustainability and also the FAS club licensing. But Warriors’ chairman, Philip Lam Tin Sing, is still determined to sort out the club’s finances before the start of the new season.

Philip spoke with Channel News Asia regarding his rejection of the federation’s decision, “We have rejected the FAS’ decision, and have asked for an urgent meeting, while we also seek legal counsel on the matter. It is sad the FAS has not engaged us in this matter and heard us out before it reached this decision, and we hope to hear from the FAS soonest over this decision to have Warriors sit out the 2020 season.”

Warriors were founded in 1975 as the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association or Singapore Armed Forces FC. Like other teams from around the world who were closely connected with the army (Indonesia’s TIRA-Persikabo, Thailand’s Army United, Malaysia’s ATM FA, Russia’s CSKA Moscow, Romania’s Steaua Bucharest, and South Korea’s Sangju Sangmu to name a few) or the police (Indonesia’s Bhayangkara FC, Thailand’s Police Tero, Malaysia’s PDRM FA, and Russia’s Dynamo Moscow to name a few), Warriors have their own unique identity as they were founded to provide talented footballers serving National Service with opportunities to play competitive football.

Besides all the silverware mentioned above Warriors become the only Singaporean club with experience in the AFC Champions League group stages in both the 2009 and the 2010 season. But their best performances in continental competitions were in the 2007 and the 2008 AFC Cup seasons as they finished as one of the quarter-finalists in the Asian second-tier competition. They also have their own junior and women’s team and already had a partnership with German giants Borussia Dortmund.

2020 season of Singapore Premier League will a little bit different than the previous season, with or without the existence of Warriors FC, the league has expanded the foreign players’ quota from three players into four players. 

The Singapore Premier League, previously known as the S-League, is unique because of the steady presence of foreign teams within the league, with Japan’s Albirex Niigata S, the satellite team of J2 League side Albirex Niigata, and Brunei Darussalam’s DPMM FC being the only two foreign representatives of the league since the 2016 season. Other foreign teams that had formerly played in the league include Malaysia’s Harimau Muda, France’s Etoile FC, and Chinese duo Beijing Guoan Talent and Dalian Shide Shiwu to name a few. They also have one ‘special’ team called Young Lions FC which is being controlled directly by the FAS but is managed as a football club and has competed in Singapore’s top club competition. The goal for Young Lions FC as a development for the young players in Singapore. If Warriors sits out the 2020 Singapore Premier League season, the competition will only have eight clubs playing in it, although rumors have it that either one of Gombak United or Tanjong Pagar United, two former Singapore Premier League clubs that have pulled out of the league due to financial issues, will make their comeback in Warriors’ place.