No 10th club for upcoming Singapore Premier League season: FAS

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SINGAPORE: There will be no new club for the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, despite in-principle approval being given to one, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said on Wednesday (Apr 3).

FAS said last year that it was searching for a 10th club to take part in the upcoming 2024/2025 season, which starts in May.

On Wednesday, the association said it had received several applications to join the league and one club was given in-principle approval. CNA understands the club is Tengah Football Club.

"The shortlisted club entered into a due diligence process, which took longer than expected," said FAS.

"Given the tight deadline prior to the commencement of the SPL in May 2024, the club has decided not to contest the 2024/25 season.

"Instead, it will focus on getting a team ready for the 2025/26 season."

FAS added that it would continue to "explore opportunities to enhance Singapore's top domestic football competition".

Tengah Football Club previously said it had received "in-principle approval" to compete in the next SPL season.

On Wednesday, the club took to Instagram to share that it has withdrawn its application.

"Although we were heartened to receive news from FAS that Tengah FC submission is in order, the short timeline before the start of the 2024/25 season has unfortunately left us with insufficient preparation time," it wrote.

"We firmly believe that rushing into the SPL season under these conditions will not yield good results for anyone and we want to be accountable to our fans, stakeholders and partners."

FAS previously invited interested parties to put forward a detailed proposal to take part in the next SPL season.

Their proposal must be aligned with the Asian Football Confederation club licensing regulations while also complying with SPL regulations, FAS said.

The club will not be entitled to any financial support and will also need to identify a home stadium and training venue.

The nine clubs currently in the league are Albirex Niigata, Lion City Sailors, Tampines Rovers, Balestier Khalsa, Geylang International, Hougang United, Brunei DPMM, Tanjong Pagar United and the Young Lions.

The SPL - formerly the S League - was officially launched in 1996 with eight local teams.

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