Football: Freelance journalist Suresh Nair will not comply with FAS' demand to apologise

Freelance journalist Suresh Nair said he would not comply with FAS' demands, after he was issued with a cease-and-desist letter.
Freelance journalist Suresh Nair said he would not comply with FAS' demands, after he was issued with a cease-and-desist letter.PHOTO: SURESH NAIR

SINGAPORE - One day after he was issued a cease-and-desist letter by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), freelance journalist Suresh Nair said on Sunday (June 25) that he will not be complying with the association's demand for an apology.

The FAS served Nair the letter in response to two articles he wrote about the resignation of Tampines Rovers chairman Krishna Ramachandra last week.

In the articles, he cited sources saying that Krishna's private resignation note had been leaked to the media by the FAS council.

The articles appeared on socio-political website The Independent and Malaysian sports news website Sports247my.

In its letter, the FAS executive committee demanded the writer publish an apology on the websites, give an undertaking that he would cease and desist from making such allegations and confirm to the FAS whether his anonymous sources are true or fictitious.

In a statement, FAS president Lim Kia Tong told The Straits Times: "In his article, he makes a very serious allegation that members of the FAS Council leaked the resignation letter of Mr Krishna Ramachandra from his position as Tampines Rovers Football Club chairman to the media.

"His claim is false and baseless and is written to intentionally smear the reputation of the FAS and its leadership."

 

However, Nair, 62, told ST: "I see no reason to retract my statements or to agree to any of their demands. I'm absolutely able to substantiate the truth of what I've written, my follow-up interviews stand true in fact and substance.

"I'm not obliged to reveal my sources and I know, as a sports journalist with three decades' experience, that I'm protected by fair comment and privilege defences."

He added: "I'm also prepared, without prejudice, to clear the air with a heart-to-heart meeting."

Nair, a refereeing instructor and former journalist, had tried to run for one of the individual council member positions at the April 29 FAS election. But he was disqualified after failing the eligibility and integrity checks.