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Lion City Sailors win FAS Women’s Panna Challenge

Madelin Sophie Lock named ‘Panna Queen’ at inaugural one-on-one street football tournament

The Lion City Sailors may have missed out on the Singapore Premier League title, but they were not to be denied the crown at the inaugural Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Women’s Panna Challenge.

Held at Expy The Lab in Queensway Shopping Centre from Dec 16-20, the tournament was contested by five teams of four players each.

A format of street football from Holland, panna sees players facing off against each other one-on-one in a metal cage with small goals.

The matches last for two minutes and five points are awarded for putting the ball between the legs of an opponent (a panna), three points for a win established by goals scored and one point for a draw.

The Sailors led from start to finish, ending the first day on 38 points, 12 ahead of second-placed Bussorah Youths. They eventually finished with 136 points, ahead of Bussorah (109) and Tiong Bahru (58) respectively.

Tiong Bahru’s Tan Xin Yi recorded the fastest panna, after 1.5 seconds, while Sailors’ Nur Syazwani Mohamad Ruzi racked up the most pannas (eight).

Sailors’ Madelin Sophie Lock, 13, was named the tournament’s “Panna Queen” by a panel of judges, based on her footwork, style of play as well as skills and tricks.

She said: “I was really surprised to be awarded the title of Panna Queen as I usually only watch Panna videos on YouTube at home.

“Because I injured my hand recently, I could not go for training sessions, so I focused on training my footwork at home with just cones.

“Panna is easy to practise at home as it does not require many people – it is very different from 11-a-side football where you need to work on your passing and movement, which requires footballing intelligence too. 

“Panna provides a different dimension to the sport, as you just need to know your moves, find a gap and then execute it. 

“It is also a great substitute for 11-a-side football, especially now that we have not been granted official permission to play it.”

Added FAS president Lim Kia Tong: “Although it is a pity that we were unable to resume football for our women’s leagues due to the Covid situation, we will strive to continue producing creative activities and tournaments that cater to them, while adhering to all safety measures.”

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