Roma out of Singapore Festival of Football, Tottenham will face Lion City Sailors, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Roma out of Singapore Festival of Football, Tottenham will face Lion City Sailors

Italian club Roma has withdrawn from the upcoming Singapore Festival of Football and will be replaced by the Lion City Sailors, organisers said on Wednesday.

The three-time Scudetto champions were originally scheduled to face Tottenham Hotspur in the Tiger Cup on July 26 at the National Stadium in Singapore before travelling to South Korea to play Wolverhampton Wanderers three days later. The Serie A side’s final pre-season match in Asia was to be against 2015 Korean FA Cup winners Incheon United on Aug 1.

Those two exhibition games at the Incheon Asiad Stadium were called off after local promoter, Stadium X, could not meet “numerous financial and logistical obligations”, South Korean media had reported.

Instead, Roma will now prepare for the upcoming campaign in Algarve, Portugal, where they have spent the last two pre-seasons since Jose Mourinho took charge in 2021. The charismatic Portuguese previously managed Spurs and the game at the Singapore Sports Hub had been billed as the “Jose Mourinho” derby.

Fans who had bought the $199 tickets for the special Roma away zone will be automatically refunded. Those who had purchased other tickets, which start from $99, can request for a refund via by noon, July 21.

Safety officer Mohamed Sham, 43, has been supporting Roma for 23 years and was looking forward to the Giallorossi’s maiden visit here. He and 11 other members of fan group Roma Club SG, formed in 2012, had bought platinum tickets worth $249.

He said: “I’m definitely very disappointed. We were very excited because some of our club members have never travelled to Rome to watch them live. I was looking forward to seeing Mourinho and key players like (captain Lorenzo) Pellegrini and (Paulo) Dybala. We got some banners for the match too.”

The Sailors are third in the ongoing Singapore Premier League season. Their chairman Forrest Li said: “Playing against a top team such as Spurs will provide us an opportunity to better prepare for the rigours of the Asian Champions League, and also provide a visual treat for our club’s supporters.”

The two other high-profile friendlies in Singapore are unaffected. Premier League giants Liverpool face fellow English club Leicester City in the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy on July 30 before the Reds take on German champions Bayern Munich in the Singapore Trophy on Aug 2.

It will be Liverpool’s second straight year in the Republic after they defeated Crystal Palace 2-0 in front of about 50,000 fans in July 2022. Bayern were last in town for the International Champions Cup (ICC) Singapore in 2017, while Spurs’ last match here was in 2019. This is Leicester’s first outing in Singapore.

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