Lions to face star-packed Argentina here on June 13

Lions to face star-packed Argentina here on June 13
Lionel Messi. Reuters file photo
Published: 4:24 PM, April 19, 2017
Updated: 6:52 AM, April 20, 2017

SINGAPORE — It is confirmed: two-time World Cup champions Argentina and their star captain Lionel Messi will play an international friendly against Singapore at the National Stadium on June 13.

The match is co-organised by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and international sport and entertainment promoter UNICESS, and is meant to mark the FAS’ 125th anniversary.

TODAY first reported on March 31 that the game will be on June 13, and the organisers said on Wednesday (April 19) in a media release that the match is part of Argentina’s tour to Australia and will take place after Argentina face South American arch-rivals Brazil in Melbourne on June 9.

Argentina will be bringing its full ‘A’ squad to Australia which means that stars like Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain, Angel di Maria and Messi will also be playing in Singapore.

“We are delighted to co-promote this match between Singapore and Argentina to commemorate the 125th anniversary of FAS,” said Aiden Kwangik Moon, the funder and chief executive officer of UNICESS, describing it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans in the region to watch Argentina in action.”

Singapore’s first-ever meeting with Argentina will cap a week full of sporting action for Singapore sports fans.

TODAY understands that the Lions are scheduled to take on Asean rivals Myanmar in a friendly on June 6, followed by its Asian Cup Group E qualifying game against Taiwan on June 10.

Rugby fans in Singapore will also get to see Scotland take on Italy in an international test at the National Stadium on June 10. This is the first time the two Northern Hemisphere sides will meet in Singapore. It is also the first international test to be played at the National Stadium since the 1998 Asian Championships which Singapore hosted at the old National Stadium.

There had been fears that the National Stadium pitch may not be up to the Argentine Football Association’s expectations after the June 10 rugby test but the AFA has since given the green light. 

However, the June 10 test also means that Singapore will not get to play its Asian Cup qualifier against Taiwan at the National Stadium, and is likely to move it to either the Bishan or Jalan Besar Stadiums.

As the Singapore-Myanmar friendly is a tune-up for the Taiwan game, it will be at Jalan Besar or Bishan too.

National football head coach V Sundramoorthy said of the Argentina game: “We hope that Singaporeans will come out in force to cheer us on. 

“A packed stadium on 13 June will make a huge difference and give our players the boost they need against a team with so many talented world-class players.”

Ticket prices, from S$40 to S$188 for adults, will be available from Sports Hub Tix from 9am on April 20. Concession tickets, for children aged 16 and below and senior citizens aged 60 and above, cost S$25.