The only professional sports league in Singapore resumes after 203 days of suspension due to COVID-19.
The Singapore Premier League (SPL) will finally restart on Oct 17.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong via his Facebook page on Friday (Oct 9).
The league had been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of safe management measures, coaches and team officials will have to wear masks during games. Only the 22 players and four match referees on the field will be exempted from wearing one.
The minister added that the COVID-19 swab tests results for all 223 players and match officers came back negative.
However, football fans won't be able to watch matches live at the stadium just yet. Matches will still be played behind closed doors, as it was right before the league was suspended.
"But you and your loved ones can still catch them on live-streams and selected cable broadcast channels," said Mr Tong, who added that fixtures for the remainder of the season will be announced by the Football Association of Singapore shortly.
In a subsequent announcement, the Football Association of Singapore revealed that to ensure that the SPL is completed by the end of 2020, teams will play two rounds of fixtures in a revised format, instead of the original three. The 2020 Singapore Cup has been annulled too to facilitate the league's completion.
FAS President Lim Kia Tong, said: "We are extremely pleased with the decision announced by MCCY on the resumption of the SPL. This is an outcome that the FAS and the SPL clubs, along with Sport Singapore and the relevant government authorities, have worked tirelessly towards in recent weeks. Our utmost thanks and appreciation go out to the various government agencies who have helped in making the resumption happen.
"Since the league was suspended, our SPL players and staff have endeavoured to maintain their physical and match fitness and morale despite only being allowed to resume small-group training in mid-June and full training on Sep 1. That marked a significant step towards resuming competitive action and now that there is a definitive timeline for resumption, I am sure they are all raring to go again. While we would have loved for supporters to be allowed into the stadiums so that they can cheer on their favourite teams, I am sure that they will understand the need for these precautions and that they will continue to support the SPL by watching the games on television or online."
The reigning winners of the SPL is Brunei DPMM. Tampines Rovers lead the table currently with nine points from four matches.
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: FACEBOOK/EDWIN TONG