Press Releases ● Mar 31, 2018



SINGAPORE, 31 MARCH 2018: Mdm Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore today declared the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League (SPL) open with the Great Eastern Community Shield match between Albirex Niigata FC (S) and Tampines Rovers FC at the National Stadium. The former made it a hat-trick of Great Eastern Community Shield wins with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Tampines Rovers FC in front of a boisterous crowd of 18,942 supporters.


Shuhei Hoshino was the hero for the White Swans as he struck a minute before the end to seal three points and lift the 11th edition of the Community Shield, after Fahrudin Mustafic had cancelled out Taku Morinaga’s opener. As the Community Shield match doubles up as the first league fixture, the win means that the White Swans also bagged their first three points of the SPL season.


Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Ms Grace Fu, FAS Advisor Mr Mah Bow Tan, Sport Singapore chairman Richard Seow were among those in attendance to witness the first match of the SPL. As the platform for young footballers to aspire towards and fans to rally around, the opening fittingly involved all members of the local football ecosystem in a grand parade of flags to signify unity and inclusiveness. While the nine clubs were represented by their flags and respective flag bearers, the Football Association of Singapore’s (FAS) flag was held by representatives from the various facets of Singapore football – football legends, women’s football, National Football League, referees and the grassroots community.


Asian Football Confederation President, His Excellency, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “I congratulate the FAS for its vision and focus on the national league as a cornerstone for football development.  On behalf of the Asian football community, I wish the very best of success to the Singapore Premier League. Top level competitions are essential for building a successful future for Asian football. I look forward to seeing the Singapore Premier League prosper.”


FAS President Mr Lim Kia Tong, who was present along with the FAS Council at the opening, said: “We are honoured to have Madam President joining us to commemorate this historic day to mark the new beginnings of Singapore football. Today is the beginning of a long-term project to build the Singapore Premier League together for the future of Singapore football, and the success of the Singapore Premier League depends on the continued support from various stakeholders, most importantly our fans. We are delighted to see so many join us on this special occasion. Finally, my congratulations to Albirex Niigata FC (S) – they have not only won the Community Shield but also the inaugural SPL match.”


Commented Mr Khor Hock Seng, Group CEO Great Eastern Holdings: “A great start, a great crowd and a great atmosphere. My heartiest congratulations to the Great Eastern Community Shield winners. Charity was the other big winner tonight. We are delighted to have raised $169,085 for the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund. We have a longstanding tradition of giving back to the community. As we celebrate our 110th anniversary this year, it is timely for us to reinforce our commitment to continue this tradition. Our launch of Great Eastern Cares tonight through a “community 110” formation trackside by some 450 Great Eastern staff, agency force and beneficiaries from the fund, signals our commitment to put greater focus to our Corporate Social Responsibility efforts and programmes to promote active volunteerism and caring for the community across the company.”


The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, the beneficiary of the Community Shield, was presented with a cheque of $169, 085 after the match by Great Eastern Group CEO Mr Khor Hock Seng to Mr Gerard Ee, a member of the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund’s Board of Trustees, and Chairman of the Charity Council.


The day’s festivities commenced at the GREAT 110 Football Fiesta at the Sports Hub OCBC Square which featured activity booths organised by the FAS and various SPL clubs, as well as the GREAT 110 Kids Football Tournament. Home United FC’s C and B teams emerged champions and first runners-up of the tournament respectively. Fans were also able to meet and greet former Singapore football legends at the Fiesta, and later watch them in action at a curtain raiser match against the Great Eastern 110 team.


In commemoration of Great Eastern’s 110th anniversary and the Community Shield, Great Eastern General Insurance offered fans at the stadium an exclusive 50% off its travel plan TravelE@sy. The first 110 customers to purchase the plan will receive a one-year complimentary HomeGR8 insurance plan.