In a surprising move by the Sport Singapore (SportSG), a police report has been filed against Tiong Bahru Football Club over the controversy of the $500,000 donation made by the football club to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) through the FAS (Football Association of Singapore).
SportSG in its statement to the press wrote:
On 19 April 2017 at about 7.50pm, SportSG made a police report in respect of suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru Football Club's funds and a purported attempt by a senior officer of the Club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits into the S.League sit-out clubs.
On 3 April 2017, SportsSG received a letter from a named individual alleging that a senior officer of a Football Club had instigated another club to delay and/or obstruct the completion of audits until after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Elections, scheduled to be held on 29 April 2017, with false reasons. The said audits had been initiated in mid-2016 by the FAS in response to queries by SportsSG. SportsSG is concerned with the impact which this might have on the propriety and integrity of the audits.
Following the media reports that Tiong Bahru Football Club had donated $500,000 to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) through the FAS (Football Association of Singapore), SportSG looked into the matter, and received further information on 18 April 2017. SportsSG subsequently made further checks and received information, which raise some serious questions about the use of funds.
Based on legal advice, SportSG decided to file a police report.
SportSG will also request to meet the FAS' Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to clarify the way ahead for the upcoming elections."
Local media reports that police officers with cardboard boxes turned up at the Tiong Bahru football club clubhouse at People's Park Centre on Thursday afternoon and the clubhouse was subsequently closed after the visit.
In response to media queries, a police spokesman said on Thursday that a police report is confirmed to have been lodged by Sport Singapore in relation to a football club.
"The Police will conduct a thorough investigation and will take appropriate action against any persons who have committed offences in Singapore. As investigations are ongoing, it is inappropriate to comment further at this point." said the spokesman.
Last Thursday, Bill Ng, chairman for Tiong Bahru Football Club, revealed that he had donated $850,000 to the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and claimed that he did not know how the money was used.
Subsequently, it was made known to the public that donations amounting to $500,000 were made to AFF by the football club through FAS but with differing accounts of how the matter came to be.
Ng who is also the chairman of Hougang United Football Club had earlier stated that it was General Secretary, Winston Lee who met him on multiple occasions in 2014 to seek the donations from Tiong Bahru FC for a Football Management System to be developed for the benefit of Singapore football and ASEAN football.
Following his claims, FAS and AFF have both issued statements on the matter. FAS earlier had noted that it spoke to Ng on the subject of supporting the Asean Football Federation’s (AFF) football management system in 2014 and Ng supported the project with a donation of $500,000 to AFF through FAS. FAS further produced a letter of request to donate which was signed off by Ng.
Former FAS President and PAP MP, Mr Zainudin Nordin who was supposedly overseeing the FAS during the period of the donation, has kept his silence since last week.
The first FAS election, which is compelled by FIFA international's insistence, is set to be held this coming 29 April at the SportsHub.