Syed Faruk all excited about meeting old friends and foes at tourney

Successful businessman: Syed Faruk (centre) in discussion with Abdul Karim (right) and The Sultan of 
Selangor's Cup organising committee secretary Amar Abdullah at the Premier Pitch in Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Successful businessman: Syed Faruk (centre) in discussion with Abdul Karim (right) and The Sultan of Selangor's Cup organising committee secretary Amar Abdullah at the Premier Pitch in Bukit Timah, Singapore.

FORMER Singapore international Syed Faruk Syed Salim Alkaff is looking forward to the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup.

The main reason being is the chance to meet his old foes as well as friends from Malaysia.

Syed Faruk, who played for the Lions from 1986 to 1993, said he would never forget his first match for Singapore in the Malaysia Cup.

“The match was against Malacca.Soh Chin Aun, a legend, was making a comeback to lead Malacca in the Malaysia Cup.

“I could not have asked for a better beginning to my football career. I was a young and aspiring player from Singapore and I was playing against Chin Aun, who I consider as an idol.

“It was a memorable debut for me as Singapore won 2-1. I will cherish the moments in the Malaysia Cup,’’ he said.

For the past six years, Syed Faruk, now a businessman running seven futsal courts, has been a part of the Singapore Veterans’ team in the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup.

For him, the competition is well organised and he looks forward to the cheerful atmosphere at the Shah Alam Stadium every year.

“The annual encounter is well appreciated by football fans in Malaysia. The younger generation will get the chance to see some of the former greats, from Singapore and Selangor, in action.

“The cheers we get are always encouraging. I look forward to the event. The atmosphere, with almost 70,000 fans, is electrifying,’’ Syed Faruk said after meeting the tournament’s organising chairman, Datuk Abdul Karim Munisar, recently.

Abdul Karim had been in Singapore to meet officials from the Football Association of Singapore as well as the veterans.

After his playing career ended in 1993, Syed Faruk ventured into business.

His first was initiative was a kindergarten. He then ventured into futsal courts, called Premier Pitch, in Bukit Timah.

“We call the place Grand Stand. The place was previously the Turf Club. Because of several logistic factors, there was not much development and we managed to get the place. We built about seven futsal courts,’’ Syed Faruk said.

Abdul Karim, who visited the Grand Stand, was happy to see Syed Faruk’s success as a businessman.

“We are pleased with Syed Faruk’s continued interest in the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup. He and other veterans from Singapore have shown great sportsmanship in supporting the tournament. We certainly welcome them,’’ Abdul Karim said.

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, then the Raja Muda of Selangor, had initiated the Regent of Selangor’s Cup in 2001 to foster better relations between Selangor and Singapore.

With the coronation of the Sultan in 2003, the annual competition was renamed the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup.

The competition was a showcase of football talents from Singapore and Selangor. The curtain raiser was a match between Selangor veterans and their counterparts from Singapore.

Last year, the competition attracted about 70,000 fans.

Besides having the opportunity to watch the football match, fans were treated to performances by local artistes, a fireworks display and cheerleading performances.

Selangor became the Sultan of Selangor’s Cup champions for the sixth time when they edged the S-League Selection 3-2 in an exciting match.

Selangor’s goals were scored by Adam Griffith and Francis Forkey Doe (2) while Singapore replied through Aleksander Duric and Jozef Kaplan. Selangor also received RM50,000 while the Lions settled for RM10,000.

Earlier in the curtain-raiser, the Singapore Veterans edged their Selangor counterparts 1-0, with Rafi Ali scoring the only goal.

This year’s Sultan of Selangor’s Cup will be held at the Shah Alam Stadium on Sept 27.

Abdul Karim said the organising committee was in the midst of finalising the promotion programme for the event.

“We would like to see a big turn out for the event,” he added.