Soccer or association football has dominated the world of sports in terms of the amount of fans and revenue. In Asia, there is no country in the region that is more passionate about football than Singapore.
In one study that was conducted by OnePoll and sponsored by Expedia Group in February, they highlighted the popularity of football in the city-state, especially the Premier League. The results of the poll were released on June 10 and the findings are insightful.
In the survey, out of 1,000 Singaporean respondents who are aged 18 and above that participated in the study, 53% of them said that they supported a club that was outstanding when they were a kid. Meanwhile, 32% of the respondents said that they would support a club because they like their merchandise.
According to the study, 54% of people who were interviewed in the survey said that they would bring their children to a football stadium to watch the final match of a major soccer tournament such as the Europa League.
According to the President of Communications at Expedia Lavinia Rajaram, she said “It is every suporter’s dream to travel to the home ground of the football club that they love and watch a match live. However, now that football matches are being held indoors due to the pandemic, fans are emulating the match day experience at their residences. They share the experience of watching live football matches on television with their family.”
Impact of European football clubs
According to a student of Republic Polytechnic, Raymond Tan, he said that the people who have made the club successful that he considered his childhood heroes is what made him a long-term fan of Manchester United.
“Growing up, watching football legends like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs had a big influence on my youth and attitude. The success that these players had brought to the club is what made me loyal to the team,” he said.
As for 21-years-old Rahul Harminder, he became a fan of the Reds because of his father.
“I’m not sure when I first became a Reds fan, but I recall seeing me as a youngster in a few images wearing a lot of Liverpool paraphernalia.Then, I came to the conclusion that my father being a huge fan of the club has a huge impact on me being a supporter of Liverpool in the EPL,” he said.
Establishment of the sport in Singapore
It is fitting that the Singaporeans love football so much because the country was occupied by British Forces before and brought the sport with them and introduced it to the country.
In fact, the oldest football governing body in Asia which is the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has its origins from the Football Association of England. Meanwhile, FAS also established a national football team called the Singapore Lions in the 1980s that competed internationally in regional and world football tournaments.
Many local professional soccer clubs were also established in the country and the FAS launched a domestic league that will serve as a platform where these clubs will compete. Thus, the Singapore Premier League was born, originally consisting of eight clubs and has grown exponentially. Some of these clubs even competed regionally in major competitions such as the AFC Champions League.
Compared to its American counterpart, soccer fans are more enthusiastic about the sport that they like and that they have incorporated it into their lifestyles. Baseball may be much more popular in many Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea but football has been considered the national sport of Singapore. The survey was a testimony that the popularity of football in Singapore will not die down any time soon.