SINGAPORE: The 2022 season of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) will begin on Feb 25, with the eight clubs set to play 28 matches each, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Tuesday (Jan 25).
The increase comes as the league shifts from a triple round-robin format to a quadruple one that ends in mid-October.
The increase in number of matches is designed to "inject a higher level of competition, while also allowing players to earn more minutes on the pitch", said FAS.
"The increase in number of matches played will enable clubs to register 20 players per match," said FAS.
"There will be nine substitutes allowed on a team’s bench – up from seven – and clubs will be permitted to make up to five substitutions per match. All these changes are in line with prevailing guidelines from the International Football Association Board."
The domestic season kicks off with defending SPL champions Lion City Sailors playing Albirex Niigata on Feb 19, in the Community Shield.
The Community Shield which serves as the traditional curtain-raiser for the new SPL season will return for the 14th time after its pandemic-enforced absence in 2020 and 2021.
With the return of the Singapore Cup, slated to commence on Oct 25, there will be more than 120 matches being scheduled for this year’s domestic season, said FAS.
Similar to last season, up to 1,000 spectators will be allowed at each match.
Fans attending matches will have to produce proof of vaccination; more information is available on the SPL website.