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The Merlion Cup was an invitational football tournament that was held in Singapore annually from 1982–1986, in 1992, 2009 and 2019. Participants included full national sides, Olympic sides, Invitational XI's and club teams. After the 1986 tournament, four Canadian players (Igor Vrablic, Hector Marinaro, David Norman and Chris Chueden) were suspended after a match-fixing scandal.

Merlion Cup
Founded1982
Current champions Singapore U-22
(1st title)
Most successful team(s) Australia
(2 titles)
2019 Merlion Cup

Contents

HistoryEdit

The inaugural Merlion Cup was held in 1982 and was held annually until 1986. The tournament was not held in 1987 due to financial constraints and the planned tournament would have scheduling conflict with the Malaysia Cup. The 1986 edition experienced the worst match attendance since the tournament's inaugural edition in 1982 with only 12,000 people showed up to watch the final between China and North Korea.[1] Two more editions of the tournament were held-in 1992 and 2009.[2]

2016 planned revivalEdit

At the 2013 Football Association of Singapore (FAS) annual general meeting, FAS president Zainudin Nordin expressed intention to revive the tournament. In early 2015, MP & Silva and FAS managed to secure a six-year partnership worth S$25 million. MP & Silva planned to organise the tournament slated in January 2016 at the 55,000-seater National Stadium.[2] However, in late 2015, after six months of negotiations, it was announced that negotiation to use the National Stadium as the venue of the Merlion Cup was stalled due to the Singapore Sports Hub demanding an upfront payment reportedly a six-digit figure to rent the stadium as the venue of two editions of the tournament in 2016 and 2017. This led the organisers to find an alternative venue and also considered holding the tournament in Malaysia.[3][4]

On 25 December 2015, it was announced that the 2016 Merlion Cup is postponed indefinitely.[5] Among the teams invited to participate along with hosts Singapore were the national teams of Myanmar,[5] and the Philippines[6] and club sides Shanghai Shenhua[5] and Yokohama F. Marinos.[5]

2019 returnEdit

On 18 May 2019, it was announced that the Merlion Cup would return, taking place from 7–9 June 2019. It would be an U22 tournament, featuring Singapore U22, Indonesia U22, Thailand U22 and Philippines U22. Singapore U22 would face Philippines U22 while Indonesia U22 would play Thailand U22 in the semi-finals.

SummaryEdit

Year 1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place
1982
Details
 
Australia
 
South Korea B
 
Indonesia
 
Malaysia
1983  
Australia
 
Singapore
 
China PR
 
South Korea B
1st Place 2nd Place Semi-finalists
1984  
Iraq
 
South Korea B
 
Australia XI
 
Netherlands XI
1985  
Yugoslavia Amateur
 
Singapore
 
Eintracht Frankfurt Amateur
 
Malaysia
1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place
1986  
China PR
 
North Korea
 
Canada
 
Singapore
1st Place 2nd Place Semi-finalists
1992  
South Korea B
 
China PR
 
Singapore
  Lokomotiv Moskva
2009  
Liverpool F.C.
 
Singapore
?
1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place 4th Place
2019
Details
 
Singapore U-22
 
Thailand U-22
 
Indonesia U-22
 
Philippines U-22

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Merlion Cup not on this year". New Straits Times. 9 June 1987. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b Tan, Noah (20 October 2015). "Merlion Cup could return to S'pore in January". Today Online. Mediacorp Press Ltd. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ Low Lin Fhoong (8 December 2015). "Merlion Cup seeks new venue". TODAY. Channel News Asia. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  4. ^ Low Lin Fhoong (13 November 2015). "Merlion Cup negotiations hit a wall". TODAY. Channel News Asia. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Wang Meng Meng (25 December 2015). "No go for Merlion Cup, competition on hold indefinitely". The Straits Times. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  6. ^ Leyba, Olmin (11 January 2015). "Azkals gird for AFF, Asian, World Cup qualifying". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 13 January 2016. The Azkals mentor (Thomas Dooley) said Phl XI was supposed to take part in a tournament (Merlion Cup) in Singapore end of this month but learned it had been cancelled.

External linksEdit