National Team - Lions ● Oct 08, 2018

Fara gets star-studded send-off

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SINGAPORE, 7 OCTOBER 2018: With the final blow of the whistle on Sunday evening, Singapore international and Tampines Rovers FC (TRFC) defender Fahrudin Mustafic’s professional playing career drew to a close.

The 37-year-old, who announced his retirement last month, was given a rousing send-off by his former team-mates in his testimonial match at Our Tampines Hub. Fara, as he is affectionately known, turned out for the Singapore Selection team and TRFC Selection team for a half each.

Organised by Tampines Rovers and supported by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), the testimonial was held to commemorate Mustafic’s 17 years in Singapore football. Mustafic’s current and former teammates from the Singapore National Team and Tampines Rovers such as Qiu Li, Noh Alam Shah, Lionel Lewis came together to pay tribute to one of Singapore’s best midfielders, who scored eight times in 85 appearances for the Lions.

Before kick-off, both teams formed a guard-of-honour for Mustafic, who was warmly applauded as he stepped out of the tunnel and onto the pitch. Fittingly, Mustafic scored twice – once from the spot and the second a fierce drive to equalise for the TRFC Selection as the match ended 3-3. Daniel Bennett, Alam Shah and Qiu netted for the Singapore Selection.

After thanking those who have made an impact on him during his time as a player, the man of the night added: “I have given everything I can on the pitch as a player. Now, I hope to give back to Singapore football for what it has given me and my family. I want to help children learn this beautiful game, to love this beautiful game.

“Now is the time to sit in the stands and cheer for Tampines and Singapore. I wish the team good luck for the Suzuki Cup. Play for the flag on your chest. It was my honour. Now I pass it on to you to defend this wonderful country.”

Mustafic, who is currently the assistant coach of the Tampines Rovers Under-19 squad, will continue to contribute to Singapore’s football from the sidelines after his retirement.

Earlier in the day, the curtain raiser match between TRFC Chairman’s Selection and FAS Selection ended in a 3-1 win to the TRFC Chairman’s side, for whom Mustafic also scored a penalty.

Before the curtain raiser, the FAS official fan groups, Singamania and Brigata Lion City, came together to rehearse their cheers to roar the Lions on as the Lions journey to the AFF Suzuki Cup.