Zainudin: We have to defend AFF crown

The FAS president is looking forward to the Singapore national team defending their trophy on home soil in the new Sports Hub at the end of the year
The Singapore national team is set to defend its AFF Suzuki Cup title when the tournament takes place on home soil later this year.

Having won the biennial competition in 2012 after beating Thailand in the final, the 2014 edition will be jointly hosted by Singapore and Vietnam. The matches here will mostly be held at the new 55,000-seater Sports Hub venue.

With Singapore being the most successful nation after winning the competition for a record four times, Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin is keen to show off the new Sports Hub and, more importantly, for the Lions to defend their title and record a fifth tournament victory.

“You know that we are also defending our AFF Suzuki Cup and it will be an event that will be on our home soil around November-December,” Zainudin said during the media preview event of the Sports Hub on Thursday morning.

“It is not only for Singapore fans, because it is a regional tournament; we want to boast a little bit and show to our Asean friends that we have a wonderful venue and they will come to see when they play in our wonderful stadium.

“We are the record four-time AFF winners and defending champions; if you are me, I think you would feel the same way and we want to defend the title in front of our local fans, our fellow Singaporeans.”

Zainudin also revealed during the media preview event that Singapore will face Causeway rivals Malaysia in the first match to be held at the stadium on August 8. FAS are also planning to bring a top European country, a top European club and a top Asian country to play friendly matches against the national team.