FAS acting president issues apology for blunt Instagram remark

FAS acting president issues apology for blunt Instagram remark

SINGAPORE—  On 12 May, Bernard Tan, the acting president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), issued an apology for his abrupt response to a comment about Singapore’s 0-7 loss to Malaysia at the SEA Games last Thursday.

This defeat marked Singapore’s most significant loss since the previous edition, where they lost 0-5 to Thailand. It was also the first time since 1987 that the under-22 football team finished the tournament at the bottom of the group with zero wins.

As the governing body of local football, the FAS has plenty to answer following the devastating outcome.

A netizen named nic_8276 commented on Bernard Tan’s Instagram, calling for his resignation, stating, “If you cared about the NT (national team), you should resign now! You are not worth the paycheck!”

In response, Tan wrote,

“I do not receive a paycheck. As a one-time offer, instead of berating me here, let’s meet face to face. Send me an email… I will leave your comment for 24 hours, after which I will remove you. This is my wall.”

SingaBrigade fan club expressed outrage over Bernard Tan’s comment, calling FAS leadership to take accountability

But maybe Mr Tan never expected his reply would be screenshot and went viral online, when he made the remark.

SingaBrigade, Singapore’s national football team’s official fan club, shared the screenshot on their Facebook page and expressed their disbelief over the acting president’s response to a frustrated Singaporean fan’s non-personal and non-vulgar comment on his Instagram post.

The group’s members shared their concerns about the sport’s future if the people in charge did not take responsibility for their actions.

One member took responsibility for criticizing the acting president and the entire FAS for not being accountable, while others also called out the acting president for his behaviour.

Bernard Tan set his Instagram account to private, issued an apology

After the outrage and backfire, Mr Tan has since deleted his comment, and set his Instagram account to private, with his latest bio on Instagram stating: “Sorry.”

Mr Tan posted a new Instagram update on 12 May, in which he apologized for his previous response.

He referred to Singapore’s 0-7 loss to Malaysia as “one of the worst nights in our history”, adding that he has “always wanted to be more open” through social media, and “to meet people privately” to receive constructive feedback and views from the ground.

“But events of last night (11 May) led to emotions running high with some abuse on my social media from unfamiliar accounts. ”

“I regret responding and apologise deeply. I hold myself to a higher standard. I am human. I was hurting too, ” Mr Tan wrote.

Mr Tan also mentioned that the FAS has always been open to engaging with stakeholders but advises members to do so in “formal, organized settings”.

” Tough questions will be asked over the next two weeks, and we will do this openly.”

Mr Tan claimed the comment came when emotions were “still very raw”

According to Mr Tan’s interview with Mothership, he expressed feeling devastated by Singapore’s game against Malaysia.

“The social media exchange came at a time when emotions were still very raw and my frustration regrettably boiled over,” he said, adding that he understands fans’ frustration and should have been more understanding, as fans being angry shows that they care about the game.

He appreciates the support he has received but stressed that the players are the ones who need support the most at this time.

“They must be devastated. We need to focus on how to help them recover from this to become stronger and better. ”

Ex-brigadier General appointed as FAS’s deputy president since April 2017

Following the sudden departure of late FAS’s president Lim Kia Tong in September last year, Bernard Tan has been taking the role of the Singapore Football Association’s acting president, and the governing is set to elect a new president before October 2023.

Mr Tan has been FAS deputy president since 2017 and previously served as vice president since 2013.

A check on Mr Tan’s LinkedIn account which is available to the public, also shows that he served in Singapore Armed Forces for 22 years, from 1984 until 2007, served as Chief of Armour and later retired with the rank of Brigadier-General.

Minister of State Alvin Tan commends Bernard Tan: ” benefitted directly from Bernard’s patient mentorship and guidance”

Bernard Tan also holds the appointment as the country president of Indonesia-based conglomerate Sinar Mas in 2017, which is active in Pulp & Paper, Agri-business & Food, Financial Services, Developer & Real Estate, Communications & Technology, Energy & Infrastructure, and the Healthcare sector.

Prior to this, Mr Tan also served in DBS Indonesia as President Commissioner/Country Head and later the marketing head of Singapore technology company ST Engineering.

Alvin Tan, who serves as both the Minister of State for Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Community, Culture & Youth (MCCY), had written a recommendation for Bernard Tan on LinkedIn.

In his recommendation, Alvin Tan praised Bernard Tan’s mentorship and guidance, stating that he personally benefited from it during their time together at the Ministry of Defence.

“I learned how to be an effective and attentive leader by working closely with him and observing how he carried himself professionally with his peers and staff alike.”

Ex-PAP Ministers, ex Brigadier- General, and CEOs among leadership in FAS

The current FAS Council was elected on 28 April 2021.

Led by former military general Bernard Tan, the council also includes former PAP Minister Mah Bow Tan and Ho Peng Kee, former Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, who have been appointed as advisors to the FAS.

Responding to this, Lim Tean, the Leader of the Peoples Voice, expressed concerns about the composition of the FAS management.

Lim Tean highlighted that, apart from Lionel Lewis, Lim Tong Hai, Razali Sa’ad, and Goh Tat Chuan, he was unaware of any other members in the FAS management who possessed a significant background in playing football for the country or clubs.

“Do we seriously expect this team to have the wherewithal to bring Singapore to the World Cup?”


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments