FAS ● Dec 15, 2020
Inaugural FAS Women’s Panna Challenge to take place this month
SINGAPORE, 15 DECEMBER 2020 – The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is set to welcome the inaugural FAS Women’s Panna Challenge from 16 to 20 December this year. This initiative will see the FAS partnering Soccer Girl Goals and Expy The Lab for the organisation of the tournament, with 1 Play Sports as the official technology partner.
Soccer Girl Goals is a media company founded by two women to celebrate and elevate women’s football in Asia, through storytelling, social media coverage as well as collaborations with fans, athletes and brands with similar belief. Expy The Lab is a venue partner with their own Panna Football Cage located at Queensway Shopping Centre, coupled with years of experience in freestyle and panna football, and an interest in female representation in football.
The FAS Women’s Panna Challenge is based off the actual Panna, a street football game with its origins from The Netherlands. It is typically held in a restricted area or cage in a one-versus-one format. Players win either by scoring the most goals within the allotted game time or via immediate knockout when the ball is played in between the opponent’s legs – also known as the “Panna” or “Ole” within our Asia region.
The inaugural tournament will be held at Expy The Lab. It will feature five clubs from the women’s leagues – Bussorah Youths SC, Lion City Sailors FC, Phoenix Pride FC, Simei United FC and Tiong Bahru FC, represented by four players each, with safe distancing measures firmly in place due to the COVID-19 situation.
Some of the measures include safe entry check ins and check outs, completion of health declaration forms, temperature screening at entry points as well as compulsory wearing of face masks at all times. The playing area also has to be sanitised before and after each match and all players are required to sanitise their hands before and after each match too.
Each match will last only two minutes and physical contact such as prolonged shielding or using hands to hold off an opponent will equate to a foul. As such, Panna has much less physical contact as opposed to the usual 11-a-side football match.
Each participating player will be randomly drawn into five groups of four, with a club representative in each group. They will then compete in a triple round robin format where a win by Panna is worth five points, a win by number of goals scored will earn three points, a draw will garner a point and a loss, zero points. All points earned will contribute to the respective clubs’ total tally and the club with the highest points will win the tournament.
Ramping up Women’s Football
This latest initiative is an indication of FAS’ commitment towards ramping up Women’s Football and ensuring inclusivity in the football community. Speaking on the decision to hold the tournament for the first time, Julie Teo, Head of Women’s and Grassroots Football for the FAS, said, “During these challenging times when most footballing activities have ground to a halt, the FAS has continued to find innovative ways to engage members within the footballing fraternity. Some of these activities include events and training sessions conducted virtually in accordance with safe management measures.
“Now that we have progressed into allowing small group gatherings, we believe that it is an opportune time to carry out the FAS Women’s Panna Challenge as its play format does not flout current safe measures and yet still allows for our players to come together and participate in the sport once more. We want this event to showcase the technical ability of our women players while increasing the outreach and visibility of the sport to other aspiring female players at the same time.”
One of the participants, Raudhah Kamis, who represents Tiong Bahru FC and is part of the Women’s National A Team, expressed her excitement at being able to partake in the sport she loves after a long hiatus. She said, “This tournament is especially significant to me as I have been itching to play football again. Whether is it an 11-a-side match or a one versus one like in the Panna Challenge, I am just happy to be able to lace up my boots and have the ball at my feet. It is a pity that our women’s leagues were not able to restart this season, but this tournament enables us to have an opportunity to gather and play football with our teammates as well as those from other clubs too.”
Stefanie Dana Oh, co-founder of Soccer Girl Goals, the media partner for this event, emphasised the need for more public exposure to Women’s Football. She quipped, “In this COVID-19 pandemic, football has pretty much come to a standstill, especially for us, women. Inspired by how some professional women football leagues have managed to kick-off with managed risk, Jing Wen (my co-founder) and I believed that it was possible to provide opportunities for women footballers in Singapore to play competitively while adhering to safety guidelines.
“Hence, we acted on our belief and initiated the discussions with Expy the Lab, and subsequently FAS who then brought this idea to life. We’re excited about future possibilities birthing from this collaboration, and hopefully this, in turn, inspires more people in the community to support and contribute to women’s football.”
Valerie Su, co-founder of Expy The Lab, also expressed her delight at being able to bring the tournament to life. She said, “As a woman footballer in the region, it was tough having to overcome the challenge of competing with guys in the male-dominated sport. I am elated to work on this event together with the FAS and Soccer Girl Goals. It meant that even in the COVID-19 pandemic, we could continue to grow freestyle and panna football in the women community and increase exposure to the sport through livestreaming done by 1 Play Sports.
“While Panna has grown rapidly in Asia, Women’s Panna is relatively new. I’m hopeful that this collaboration with FAS can be the start of something new and hopefully, we can become one of the leading countries to develop this sport in Asia.”
The FAS Women’s Panna Challenge will be broadcast Live on the FAS and Soccer Girl Goals Facebook Pages, Soccer Girl Goals YouTube Channel, as well as 1 Play Sports Facebook and YouTube Channel. The full schedule list is shown below together with the list of participating clubs and players.
Group 1 (16 December, 7pm to 9pm)
|Bussorah Youths SC||Nur Atikah Ardini Bte Salleh|
|Lion City Sailors FC||Miray Hokotate Altun|
|Phoenix Pride FC||Mardiana Binte Joeffry|
|Tiong Bahru FC||Nur Raudhah Binte Kamis|
Group 2 (17 December, 7pm to 9pm)
|Simei United FC||Umah Dhevi D/O Balakrishnan|
|Bussorah Youths SC||Wan Nashirah Wan Mohammed Alam Syah|
|Lion City Sailors FC||Nur Syazwani Binte Mohamad Ruzi|
|Phoenix Pride FC||Natalie Vincent|
Group 3 (18 December, 7pm to 9pm)
|Tiong Bahru FC||Wang Zhenzhu|
|Simei United FC||Soffiyana Binte Mohammad Atar|
|Bussorah Youths SC||Yasmine Bte Zaharin|
|Lion City Sailors FC||Madelin Sophie Lock Lu Ruiyi|
Group 4 (19 December, 9am to 11am)
|Phoenix Pride FC||Laura-Helena Georgette Rivellini|
|Tiong Bahru FC||Tan Xin Yi|
|Simei United FC||Nur Aniqah Imana Bte Azman|
|Bussorah Youths SC||Nurhidayu Binte Naszri|
Group 5 (20 December, 9am to 11am)
|Lion City Sailors FC||Koh Chloe Ke Ying|
|Phoenix Pride FC||Nur Shafika Binte Abdullah|
|Tiong Bahru FC||Nur Faradila Binte Rafidi|
|Simei United FC||Mastura Binte Jeilani|