The question that is not answered, who instructed the floodlights to be auto turned off at 9pm?

Following the report made by TOC on 15 April, Straits Times followed up with its report with quotes from various agencies about the cancellation of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Centre of Excellence U-19 match between Warriors FC and a FAS U-19 side.

The match was abandoned in the 69th minute on Tuesday (10 April) due to the floodlights being turned off at 9pm.

In TOC’s earlier report, we noted that the Yishun stadium centre manager had informed the match commissioner of the Tuesday match that there were instructions by the Member of Parliament, Er Dr Lee Bee Wah that the lights are to be turned off at 9pm. This was reflected in the report filed by the match commissioner to the Football Association of Singapore.

ST in its report on Tuesday (17 Apr), quoted ActiveSG chief Lai Chin Kwang saying, “Training sessions and matches at Yishun Statypicallycally end at 9pm. As the FAS COE U-19 match was overrunning by a few minutes, our staff should have exercised the flexibility to allow the match to be completed.” He added, “We apologise to the FAS, coaches and players for this episode.”

ST noted that SportSG did not explain what prompted its staff at Yishun to turn off the lights, nor respond to queries as to what the standard procedure is at its other facilities.

Warriors FC’s general manager Paul Poh told ST, “The two light facing the condominium are turned off at 9pm, because of residents’ complaints.”

Questions not answered

Below are the email questions from TOC to Ms Lee for her to assist in explaining the situation.

We have been told by residents of Estuary that you are assisting them with regard to the Yishun Stadium lights.
How are you helping them on the matter?

And is it also true that you have asked for the lights of the Yishun Stadium to be turned off at 9pm?

While Ms Lee did not reply to TOC, but she has since posted a response on her Facebook page on Monday (16 Apr), saying that she did not give any instruction to have the lights turned off after complaints were made by residents.

Now you have to note that the Warriors FC’s Facebook post shared by Ms Lee is somewhat inaccurate as the match was suspended not due to floodlight failure but due to the auto-turning off of lights at 9pm.

Ms Lee was also quoted by ST in its Tuesday report, “I did not give instructions for the match to be stopped. I am waiting for the report and statement from Sport Singapore (SportSG) before deciding on my next course of action.”

This is different from her Facebook post where she said she did not give instructions to turn off the lights.

Given that it is confirmed that the residents had made complaints about the glare of floodlights, that there is an auto-turn off of the flood lights at 9pm, the question that Ms Lee can help to answer is, what has she been doing to assist in complaints made by the residents on the glare of the stadium’s floodlights.

A separate email was sent to Sports Singapore to seek clarification about the matter.

1) On Tuesday 10 April, a match between Warriors and FAS U-19 was called off at the Yishun Stadium because the Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, Lee Bee Wah asked the Centre Manager to turn the lights off. Why did the Centre Manager do so?
2) At a subsequent meeting between SportSg and FAS, the SportSg official who attended said SportSg wasn’t aware that the request was made for the lights to be turned off by the MP. Then why did the Centre Manager accede to the order?
3) What is the protocol for such requests made by MPs?

Similiar to Ms Lee, no reply was given by the agency to TOC.

At the end of the day, it seems no one wants to answer the main question surrounding this matter, which is, who gave the instruction to have the lights turned off automatically at 9pm. An instruction which made the centre manager to not choose flexibility in adjusting the timing of the floodlights despite having a football match on-going at the stadium.