by Kannan Raj
The elections for the office bearers for the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) will take place on 29 April 2017.
But already, it appears that one team is keen on having the upper hand, and is now being accused of electioneering.
According to a report in the New Paper published on 7 April, the FAS sent out a circular to the National Football League (NFL) clubs calling for a meeting to discuss sponsorship, players’ insurance and subsidies.
What’s worse, the email also stated that the “FAS President” had managed to secure sponsors and that the FAS was “in the final stages of working out a subsidy scheme for all participating NFL clubs.”
In all likelihood, it is referring to Mr Lim Kia Tong, who’s term as the President of the Provisional Council ended on 31 March.
Mr Lim is one of two teams vying to take over the running of the FAS.
Why is this move to send out the circular to the NFL clubs wrong, especially at this time of the elections?
First and foremost, there is no FAS President at this point and it is unclear who the FAS is referring to.
Secondly, the timing of the email can only be viewed as electioneering, and offering goodies to the NFL clubs, who form more than half of the total number of affiliates who having voting rights.
It is not known if the slate being led by Mr Bill Ng, the Hougang United chairman, will lodge a protest with FIFA.
Interestingly, it should also be noted that in response to the queries by the New Paper, it is the FAS spokesman who responded and not anyone from the electoral committee which has been set up to oversee the administration of the elections.
Six of the slate of nine in Mr Lim’s “Team LKT” served on the previous Executive Council under Zainudin Nordin.
This also includes Mr Edwin Tong, who is currently a PAP Member of Parliament, and Mr S Thavaneson, who was the Chairman of the NFL Committee, and who was largely viewed as being responsible for the under-development and neglect of grassroots football.