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Singapore preparing for high-altitude challenge

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Editor's note: Since the publication of the article below, we have been contacted by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), who has notified us that Singapore men's football coach denies making the statements attributed to him by Chinese sports website Titan. We have edited the article and the quotes by coach Avramovic at the request of FAS and Avramovic.

After defeating Laos 7:2 and 6:1 in recent matches in Kunming and Vientiane, respectively, China has advanced to the third round of Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournament play and is scheduled to host a qualifying match on September 2 in Kunming at a location to be announced.

China is aiming to be one of the four or five AFC teams to compete in the FIFA World Cup finals, which will be hosted by Brazil in 2014. The number of AFC representatives in Brazil will be determined after a playoff with the Oceania Football Confederation's top team.

Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic, known as "Raddy" to Singapore fans, had the following to say about drawing fixtures with China:

"I am pleased that we have made it into the 3rd Round of the FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign for the second time in Singapore's history. We will now look at the best possible options in preparation for the matches, starting with the first game on September second against the People's Republic of China. It is up to the Football Association to decide which stadium and city they would like to host the qualifying matches at and we will focus on ensuring that my players get the right preparation needed for the matches and we are working towards having a good qualifying campaign."

At 1,900 meters above sea level, Kunming's high altitude offers most visiting teams an additional challenge for which they are ill-equipped to prepare.

In March 2008, Pim Verbeek, then-head coach of Australia's national team, shared his thoughts on why Kunming had been selected as the site of a qualifying match between China and the Socceroos:

"They're not stupid. On purpose they play at 1,900 meters, on purpose they ask us to travel longer than normal ... that's why we play in a place nobody has heard of. But on the other hand, I think that is a mistake, because our players are very willing to show it doesn't matter at all."

The 2008 match ended in a 0:0 draw, with Chinese fans leaving disappointed after China's Shao Jiayi (邵佳一), missed an 88th-minute spot kick, paving the way for China's failure to qualify for the 2010 finals, held in South Africa.

China has only reached the World Cup finals once, participating in the 2002 tournament held in Japan and South Korea. They were eliminated without scoring a single goal.

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and who knows if chinese players will adapt better to the altitude? I don't think they live in yun nan or xi zang :)
do you know where to buy the tickets? I would like to see the match...

@roberto: China will certainly spend the days leading up to the match training here, most likely at the Hongta facility, more info here: www.gokunming.com/[...]

As for tickets to the match, they are notoriously difficult to obtain here. If you have any friends playing in Kunming's local football league, I would ask them first. That's how we got our tickets to the Socceroos match in 2008. There's always a chance that there will be a clear and straightforward way to purchase tickets, but it would be a first.

The Chinese team does their winter training in Kunming, so they are used to the altitude.


I have a simple solution for Mr. Avramovic: don't play then. Life isn't fair. If your going to complain about the FIFA qualifying system, then simple don't participate in it. Nobody's forcing you. This isn't a damn dirty trick, Kunming is chosen because of it's location and easy access with other southwestern Asian countries.

@GTan - if ease of access is the only concern then why not play in Guangzhou or even Hong Kong? at least those places have a higher number of international flight connections...


Indeed, I wonder how it would be reported if France decided to hold a qualifier up in Val d'isire (about 1 700m).

No matter they play at sea level, 1900m, or on the moon. Nothing can save the Chinese mens football team.
Though I think one could consider this move not in the spirit of the game, if it's allowed by the supervisory body then it's non- issue. And as internationals have been played here before it does appear that it is within the rules, like it or not.


As I understand most of the last games were held in kunming, aserbaidschan, Laos,... Singapore is only one in a long row. That's what is missing them off. They just always play in kunming because they are used to it. It's unfair...very Chinese.
Other complaint to gokunming - reporting is always afterwards. I would like to know when there is a game/concert/event to decide if insurance want to check it out.

Always lazy bones...box...sandras... is boring, I want to know



Be fair to China, playing within the rules is nothing short of a miracle. Sportsmanship is a goal for the next millennia.

err, "Kunming is preparing to host..." implies to me that this game is in the future. and if we're gonna get all semantic-like, i think 'reporting' is, by definition, after the event. but maybe i've been watching too much sci-fi. seems the game is on September 2. future, innit?


Singapore is future - but ist reported because the Singaporeans go balistic, based on the past games held here.

Would be nice GOKUNMING could report such "local events" in their event calendar...

Regarding giving better notice of local events: we'd love to.

However, we are a team of limited resources and more comprehensive events listings would require event organisers to reach out to provide us with information of their plans.

Regarding national football specifically, we heard recently that a plan was afoot to rebuild and relaunch the China Football Association website, in part to provide a convenient and comprehensive place to access fixture information. Some months have passed, and we've yet to find the new site.

The old site lists the fixture dates in a news post here www.fa.org.cn/news/china/2011-08-01/358238.html (Chinese only.) Unfortunately, there's no mention of match venues.

If you are organising, or know of, events that you'd like to see listed in the GoKunming calendar, please let us know via our contact form. We typically need the following info: location; short description of the event; date; time; entry fee (if any).

i have to second beni-w on this one, atleast major events like placementmatches in football, filmfestivals, cartoonfestivals, grand openings etc. and when and wheres like where one should go to see the dragonboatraces, if such a thing happens. basically the big things. this would have made this website irreplaceable.


Did you not read Matthew's reply? Maybe you should get your ear to the ground and contribute...

how and where to purchase this ticket、i wanna go . lol

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