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Football: Johor’s U-21 team looking to play in Singapore Premier League, says Johor crown prince

Football: Johor’s U-21 team looking to play in Singapore Premier League, says Johor crown prince

Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim owns Malaysian Super League champions Johor Darul Ta'zim. (Photo: HRHcrownprinceofJohor/Instagram)

JOHOR BAHRU: Malaysia Super League giant Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) is looking to send its U-21 squad to play in the Singapore Premier League (SPL), said Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim. 

In an interview with Astro Arena on Sunday (Jun 6), Tunku Ismail said JDT is discussing with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for its U21 squad, JDT III, to participate in the SPL. 

During the live interview, Tunku Ismail was asked to comment on JDT's development plan to improve the team's overall performance particularly among its younger players. 

"Yes, we have put a lot of investment (in our youth). Now we have been discussing with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to send JDT III to play in the Singapore league because we want to give more competitive games to our young players. Right now, they aren't getting much competitive games in Malaysia," said Tunku Ismail. 

"So we are still discussing and I hope they will be absorbed and be given the opportunity to participate (in the SPL)," he added. 

Tunku Ismail currently owns JDT and has led the club's senior squad to seven consecutive Malaysia Super League titles. 

JDT III currently plays in the Malaysia President Cup, the national under-21 competition. 

The SPL now has eight teams, with one foreign team from Japan - defending champions Albirex Niigata. 

JDT III will not be first team from Malaysia to play in Singapore's first tier football competition. 

In 2011, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and Football Association of Singapore (FAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Singapore team LionsXII to play in the Malaysia Super League while Malaysia's Harimau Muda would take part in the Singapore's S-League. 

The agreement ended in 2015 after Football Association of Malaysia's (FAM) executive committee voted to end the LionsXII's participation in Malaysia national competitions.

In response to queries from CNA, FAS said it notes the comments made by the Johor crown prince on fielding a team from JDT in the SPL. 

"The FAS will extensively review any written application if received, to join the SPL, taking into account the interests of Singapore football, before any decision is made," it added. 

Source: CNA/am


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