Officers from the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) yesterday raided the clubhouses of Tiong Bahru FC, Woodlands Wellington FC and Hougang United, and the Jalan Besar Stadium offices of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), but for now it looks like next week's election for local football's top posts will proceed as planned.
The raids came after the national sport governing body Sport Singapore (SportSG) made a police report against Tiong Bahru Football Club over the suspected misuse of club funds and a purported attempt by a senior officer of the club to obstruct the completion of audits into several clubs which are not taking part in the S-League.
Although SportSG did not name anyone in its statement yesterday, one man is linked to all three clubs. Mr Bill Ng is chairman of both Hougang and Tiong Bahru. The corporate rescue specialist was also in charge of Hougang when there was a bid to merge it with Woodlands in 2014, before the move was stopped as it was unconstitutional.
Mr Ng is leading a team, dubbed Game Changers, at the FAS election on April 29 and has hogged headlines for the last week in a war of words with the FAS.
He was at the Hougang clubhouse yesterday during the CAD raid. His spokesman said: "Bill Ng will be fully cooperating with the authorities over this matter."
Explaining why it made a police report on Wednesday night, SportSG said that on April 3, a named individual wrote to them alleging that a senior official at Tiong Bahru had instigated another club to obstruct, with false reasons, the completion of audits until after the FAS election.
These audits were started by the FAS last year on SportSG's request. Following media reports that Tiong Bahru FC had donated $500,000 to the Asean Football Federation through the FAS, SportSG looked into the matter, and received further information on Tuesday.
"On the same day, SportSG also made further checks, which raised other serious questions about the use of club funds."
The Straits Times reported yesterday that Tiong Bahru, an amateur club which generates revenue from 29 jackpot machines, collected $36.8 million in revenue last year, which is more than the FAS budget of $35.8 million in the same period.
As for the election, in which Mr Ng's team is up against a team led by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong, SportSG said it will meet the FAS' Ad-hoc Electoral Committee to "clarify the way ahead".
However, the committee, which decides if candidates are fit to stand for election, yesterday said that it "has no power to postpone or call off the election of the FAS Council and, as at this moment, knows of no reason for any disruption of the elections."
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