FAS saga: Former football chief Zainudin Nordin says Bill Ng was not his business partner

Mr Zainuddin Nordin at the Football Association of Singapore post-Extraordinary General Meeting Conference on Nov 7, 2016.
Mr Zainuddin Nordin at the Football Association of Singapore post-Extraordinary General Meeting Conference on Nov 7, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Former Football Association of Singapore (FAS) president Zainudin Nordin has denied that he has business ties with Tiong Bahru FC chairman Bill Ng.

Zainudin told the Today newspaper on Saturday (April 22): "Mr Bill Ng and I are not business partners and we do not have any business dealings."

The move comes in a week of astonishing claims and counter claims and a stunning police raid on three clubhouses as well as the FAS office at Jalan Besar.

On Wednesday night, national sports agency Sport Singapore made a police report on the possible misuse of funds at Tiong Bahru.

This was followed by police raids, led by the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD), on Tiong Bahru's clubhouse as well as that of Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington, plus the FAS' headquarters.

Ng, his wife Bonnie Wong Yuk Ying, Zainudin and FAS general secretary Winston Lee were subsequently interviewed by the CAD.

Ng is the chairman of Hougang and was also at the helm when a merger was mooted between the Cheetahs and Woodlands in 2014 before it was ruled out for being unconstitutional.

Earlier in the week, the FAS had hit back at Ng's claims that Lee had asked Ng for a $500,000 donation to the Asean Football Federation (AFF). Ng had also said that the money was meant for local football.

But Lee released a paper trail which purportedly show that it was Zainudin who had asked for the donation to the AFF, not Lee, and that Ng knew the funds were destined for the regional body's coffers.

The local football fraternity is gearing up for the FAS inaugural election on April 29. Ng is leading a slate called the Game Changers to challenge a team led by former FAS vice-president Lim Kia Tong.

Zainudin was the FAS chief from 2009 until 2016. The former Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP stepped down from politics in 2015.

He said yesterday: "I had all this while hoped that the election will proceed smoothly and fairly, and thus chose not to make any statements.

"As things had turned out, I am now giving the authorities all the help for their investigations and I will do everything to help put this behind us.

"My wish is for Singapore soccer to do well which has been my passion and devotion all these years."