SINGAPORE: The inaugural Manimaran Cup organised by the Singapore Democratic Party saw support from various opposition parties, who sent their representative to take part in the futsal tournament held at the multi-sports arena Homeground Sports in Woodlands on Jan 27.

The competition was revived after a decade-long hiatus, and it was renamed to honour the legacy of the party’s late central executive committee and youth leader, Manimaran Ashukumar. A football enthusiast himself, Manimaran was a dedicated party member and one of the sports event organisers when it was first organised in its early days. 

“It was great to see all the talents competing for the Manimaran Cup on Saturday. It was also touching to hear Priscilla, Mani’s wife, share fond memories of our friend Mani. The skills and spirit on display were a fitting tribute to a dedicated champion of justice and democracy,” posted SDP’s chairman, Prof Paul Tambyah, on social media.

Photo credit: Singapore Democratic Party

Present at the event was Priscilla Prasad (pic above), the late Manimaran’s wife, who conveyed her thanks to everyone who participated in the futsal competition and heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the Singapore Democratic Party for turning the family’s sorrow into a celebration of love, unity, and remembrance.

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“Your commitment to honouring my late husband, Manimaran, through the thoughtful organisation of this futsal event is truly commendable. The warmth and support extended by the team have truly been a source of comfort,” expressed Priscilla.

“Manimaran believed in the power of community, and your efforts in bringing people together for this event beautifully reflect that spirit. Your dedication to honouring his memory through such a meaningful gathering is a testament to the values that the Singapore Democratic Party upholds.”

The Singapore Democratic Party mentioned that they aimed to keep Manmaran’s memory alive by bringing football and futsal lovers from different walks of life together and facilitating conversations on the sports scene in Singapore.

“The Manimaran Cup was named in tribute to former SDP Central Executive Member and youth leader Manimaran Ashukumar, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 33. Mani was passionate about all things football as well as doing his best in service of making Singapore a better place. We are grateful to the community for supporting the Manimaran Cup 2024, and look forward to hosting this tournament series on a yearly basis.” said the SDP.

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Sixteen teams competed for the trophy and cash prizes in a round-robin format. The top two teams from each group advanced to the quarter-finals stages.

It was an all-Buangkok final, as teams from Kampung Buangkok A and Kampung Buangkok B managed to win against their opponents in the semi-finals.

But there had to be only one winner in the final, and Kampung Buangkok B (main pic) lifted the trophy as they emerged as champions in the inaugural Manimaran Cup.

Revolution FC won by penalty shootout against Knockout in the bronze medal match.