SINGAPORE: Plain clothes investigators were seen on Thursday (Apr 20) raiding the offices of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and three local football clubs.
The raids were conducted shortly after SportSG announced that it had filed a police report over suspected misuse of Tiong Bahru FC funds and an alleged attempt by a senior club official to obstruct the completion of audits of S.League sit-out clubs.
This latest dramatic twist in the saga involving the local football community came after a month of claims, counterclaims, allegations and denials around the elections to choose a new leadership team for the FAS.
Team Game Changers, led by Mr Bill Ng, will face-off against Team LKT, led by interim president of the FAS, Mr Lim Kia Tong, in the FAS’ first elections. The elections will take place on Apr 29 at the Sport Singapore Black Box Auditorium.
The following is a summary of some of the events before Thursday’s raids.
MAR 15: BILL NG TO CHALLENGE FOR FAS LEADERSHIP
In an interview with TODAY, Mr Ng, the 56-year-old chairman of football clubs Hougang United FC and Tiong Bahru FC, confirmed that he would be leading a team of candidates for the upcoming FAS elections.
He was quoted as saying that local football was “in a vicious cycle”, neither producing on the pitch nor financially.
“Ending that rut is going to be our new team’s focus, to bring back the ‘Kallang Roar’ and to give the roar a foundation to exist for the many generations to come,” Mr Ng said.
MAR 18: OPPONENT LIM QUESTIONS NG’S CANDIDACY
Mr Lim spoke to The Straits Times in a video interview together with Tampines Rovers chairman Mr Teo Hock Seng.
Mr Teo said that Mr Ng has “a hidden agenda coming to football” while Mr Lim said: “Is he (Ng) of the same mould as all of us in this team, or is he in the mould of someone who is only interested to gain some mileage?”
MAR 19: TAMPINES ROVERS CHAIRMAN CALLS FOR APOLOGY ON BEHALF OF NG
Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra, who will be standing for election in Mr Ng’s team, hit out at the remarks made by Mr Lim and Mr Teo. He commented on Facebook: “An apology is due immediately before it gets out of hand.”
“Honestly, those gentlemen went down in my estimation. I will nevertheless give them the benefit of doubt and say it was uncharacteristic of them.”
MAR 22: NG HITS BACK AT REMARKS
Through a press release, Mr Ng rebutted the remarks made by Mr Lim and Mr Teo. He said that his team’s sole intention was to “modernise the Singapore game from grassroots up, as well as from the administration and leadership levels”.
He also stressed that there was no room for politics in local football: “Singapore’s game must be modernised and the politics must be removed. The focus must be on the credentials and who can do better for our game. And it cannot rely on one or two individuals in positions of power.”
APR 13: NG REVEALS DONATION TO FAS
At the Team Game Changers’ media conference…