SINGAPORE — Singapore national coach Bernd Stange has criticised suggestions why they are not playing teams of higher calibre ahead of their international friendly against Guam on Tuesday (March 31) at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Instead, he suggested that the state of the National Stadium pitch was a factor.
Guam are ranked 167th in the FIFA world rankings, whilst Singapore are joint-153rd with South-east Asian neighbours Malaysia and Myanmar.
“It is difficult to convince top class teams to play at Jalan Besar Stadium,” Stange said at a press conference at the Jalan Besar Stadium earlier today (March 30).
“All the promises I gave to bring teams over with my personal contacts like Carlos Queiroz and Fabio Capello depend on (the) Sports Hub.
“Unfortunately, a lot of teams refuse to play Singapore on the artificial pitch (at the Jalan Besar Stadium). Even Japan refused to make training sessions here when they faced Brazil.”
“As long as the (National Stadium pitch at the) Sports Hub is not ready, we cannot attract big teams.”
Stange is under pressure to produce results after Singapore’s disappointing group stage exit at the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup in November last year when the Republic were the defending champions.
Last week, Singapore lost 2-0 to Thailand in a friendly in Korat, even though they did match the hosts for long periods of the game before falling to two late goals.