JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s 2023 is biggest ever edition;
Asia’s largest youth football tournament set to continue to grow with support from the Singapore Tourism Board for another three years
SINGAPORE, 2023, MARCH 13 – The ninth edition of the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s is set to be the biggest yet, with Asia’s largest youth football tournament to welcome a record number of 5,600 players from 400 teams (including 250 international teams from 15 Nations), and an estimated 60,000 spectators in 2023. This year’s tournament is also the first of the new three-year agreement with the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), an official partner of the event since 2017.
Over the last nine years, the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s has grown from strength to strength, starting from having just 560 players and 40 teams in one venue back in 2013 to this year’s anticipated turnout of 5,600 players – 10 times more than when it first started – competing in matches played over three days at three venues: Our Tampines Hub, The Arena at Woodleigh and The Cage at Turf City.
Overseas participation comes in the form of the 250 international clubs and 14 professional teams including last year’s winner, Tottenham Hotspur FC. Valencia CF makes a repeat visit as does 2018 Champions, Urawa Red Diamonds. Melbourne City FC, Bangkok United FC, Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT) and JSSL FC make up the 7-team lineup for the professional boys’ category. This year’s pro competition will also extend to the girls with Valencia CF, Sporting Portugal, RCD Espanyol, Omiya Ardija Ventus, Melaka FC, Chonburi FC and JSSL FC contesting for the girls’ title. To further the knowledge and expertise of the local coaching system, the JSSL 7s Coaching Convention will also take place on 6 April with legendary former Manchester United FC star Dwight Yorke being the keynote speaker. The 51-year-old was a key player in the Red Devils’ Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League triumphs in the 1998/99 season. Coaches from Tottenham Hotspur FC, Melbourne City FC and Valencia CF will also share their experience and learnings from guiding players and coaches at their respective clubs.
Promising youth footballers aged six to 16 from around the world will take part in the tournament, which comprises three girls’ and 11 boys’ age groups. Teams are divided into groups of six or seven teams, where all teams play each other once. Following that, the top four teams of the group will qualify for “Cup Knock Out”, while the remaining teams in the group will qualify for the “Plate Knock Out” stages. The tournament is played under all applicable FIFA rules. Group stage matches are 22 minutes each with no half-time, while matches in the knock-out rounds are 25 minutes each (no half-time). All finals will be played at Our Tampines Hub on Sunday, 9 April.
Rina Salleh, JSSL Singapore Event Director said: “The JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s is a home-grown event that is a well-loved regular fixture amongst football clubs both locally and from the region. It’s an immense privilege to have been able to continue to provide these passionate young footballers the opportunity to play and compete in a sport they love. Having more teams not only means more game time for these players, but also more chances for them to make friends with fellow football enthusiasts from all over the world.”
Ms Ong Ling Lee, STB’s Executive Director for Sports & Wellness, added: “We are delighted to witness the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s’ growth over the years into the internationally renowned event it is today. We look forward to welcoming the international players and their families to Singapore this April and hope they will enjoy what Singapore has to offer beyond the pitch.”
More information about the tournament and its format is available at here.