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The Harimau Malaya will serve as the Lions' first opponents at the newly constructed Sports Hub with the match scheduled for a landmark August 8 date

Historic rivals Malaysia will be the first opponents for Singapore in the new Sports Hub which is set to open in phases from April.

The match will be played on August 8, a day before Singapore celebrate 49 years of independence from their neighbours.

The announcement was made by Football Association of Singapore (FAS) President Zainudin Nordin, at a special media preview event held at the Singapore Sports Hub on Thursday morning.

"Everybody knows football, I think for me, its wonderful to be here," said Zainudin as he spoke from the Sports Hub compounds where construction was still underway to put the finishing touches. "We are here because this is a historical site, we are here to witness something tremendous and momentous. So I am very happy. I’ve had the opportunity to visit many stadiums because of football. I think we have something special here."

"I would like to announce that Singapore will be hosting our neighbours Malaysia in the opening match on August 8," he added. "We have chosen this date specially and you would also know, this is one day before our National Day. It will be an atmosphere, a day for us to celebrate, and of course we hope it will be a good game.

Zainudin also stated, that Malaysia were selected given the historic and intense nature of the rivalry.

"Now people will ask us why we chose Malaysia," he said. "You know this rivalry has been going on for the longest time, it is one of the fiercest rivalries and I think it would be something all of us would want to see."

Both teams last played each other in a senior match in December 2012, at the opening game of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup, with Singapore coming out 3-0 winners at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur.

The first unofficial recorded encounter between both nations can be traced back to 1958, with a total of 75 matches having taken place altogether. Singapore have won 24 and drawn 21.

The long-serving FAS President expressed his delight at seeing local talents being able to compete in front of a large audience in a world class stadium once again, and believes that the upcoming events will be a spectacle for fans and athletes alike.

"We from FAS are very excited, we are looking forward to showcase our talent and allow them to play in front of 55 000 fans," he told reporters. "It would be an incredible level of support for the players. The players like to play in front of the fans, that’s what sports is all about, so we at the FAS will look towards the first game at the National Stadium with excitement and anticipation of the atmosphere at what is undoubtedly one of the greatest stadiums of the world."

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