Singapore clubs dream of Champions League 2009

Singapore football clubs are anticipating the aprroval of the Asian Football Confederation allowing the 2008 S.League and Singapore Cup champions to join the AFC Champions League 2009 from the second-level continental club competition, the AFC Cup. The Champion's League offers a US$500,000 prize purse for the winners as well as a slot in the FIFA Club World Championship.

Over the last two days, a team of officials from the Asian football body's Pro League Ad-Hoc Committee have been surveying Singapore's stadiums to assess their suitability. At least two stadiums will have to meet AFC standards such as having 5,000 capacity, roofs over part of the spectator seats, doping control rooms and separate seating and a lounge for VIPs.

"We will work together with all our stakeholders to ensure that we meet the criteria set by the AFC. It will be a huge boost for football here if we play in the AFC Champions League," S-League CEO Winston Lee told Jose Raymond of Today. "It will be great for ASEAN champions Singapore to be in the AFC Champions League," Gombak FC chairman John Yap agreeed. "I am very confident that with the support of the Singapore Sports Council, our football venues will be made to meet the criteria set by the AFC."