By Kannan Raj
Throughout the 2016 football year, Singapore’s National Football League (NFL) only received about $70,000 in allocation of financial resources from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
And for the longest time, the FAS has been crying for more financial resources.
At the last annual general meeting for the financial year 2016, even then president Zainudin Nordin said:
“We (the FAS) need the resources and facilities to bring these plans to life, because without these, the plans remain just words on paper. Even before we get the resources we hope for, we are already doing what we can with the resources we do have.”
So the revelation by Mr Bill Ng that he had donated $500,000 to FAS which was then channeled out to the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) for a Football Management System at the end of 2014 raises more questions which the FAS will need to answer.
In response to queries by TODAY, Mr James Lim, who is contesting the FAS elections as an independent candidate said: “I am of course taken aback that FAS would be soliciting donations for an external and even foreign organisation. The FAS has no business soliciting funds for AFF when they are always telling the public that it lacks the funds to implement the Strategic Plan.”
He added: “Even more shocking is that the donations were not from Bill personally but from the football clubs. Basically, money has been taken out from Singapore football, and from local football clubs. Winston has to come clean and reveal what was going on between Bill and FAS.”
As of now, the FAS will need to show that it has been transparent in this partnership with the AFF.
And it will need to answer these questions:
- Was the Council aware of what transpired in this transactions between the AFF and the FAS?
- Can the FAS produce minutes of meetings which showed that Mr Bill Ng’s donations were accounted for?
- Was the Council aware of the request made by FAS general secretary Winston Lee to Mr Bill Ng?
- There has always been a lack of financial resources for Singapore football. Why did it allow money to flow to a foreign entity?
- Why was Mr Bill Ng asked to donate through the FAS when he could have donated directly to the AFF?
- Were the donations by Mr Bill Ng acknowledged in writing?
Instead of responding to the comments by Mr Bill Ng by giving an account of what happened, its General Secretary Winston Lee responded with a statement which sounded legalistic in nature.
For this is a matter of public interest, its response has only proven further why a change in the highest echelons of Singapore football is necessary and at this point, imperative.
With nine out of fifteen members on Team LKT’s team in the previous FAS Council, it is also vital that they explain if they knew of this transaction between FAS and AFF.
If they were aware of this donation and still let it continue, they stand on zero moral ground to lead Singapore football.
And if they were not aware, it only further exemplifies why they should not be allowed to continue their sojourn with Singapore football.