Football: Lim Kia Tong unveils manifesto and full team for FAS elections

Members of Team LKT: (From left) S Thavaneson, Teo Hock Seng, Bernard Tan, Lim Kia Tong, Lim Tong Hai and Darwin Jalil.
Members of Team LKT: (From left) S Thavaneson, Teo Hock Seng, Bernard Tan, Lim Kia Tong, Lim Tong Hai and Darwin Jalil.ST PHOTO: NICOLE CHIA

SINGAPORE - Football Association of Singapore (FAS) presidential hopeful Lim Kia Tong unveiled his team's manifesto for the April 29 election on Friday night (March 31).

Based on three principles - change, inclusiveness and integrity - his assembled slate, named Team LKT, stated its vision for Singapore football includes SEA Games and Asean Para Games golds for the national Under-23 and cerebral palsy teams respectively in the next five to 10 years.

The Lions will also be expected to regularly qualify for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, the Asian Cup finals and to consistently win the AFF Championship.

In addition, Team LKT aims to double the number of girls playing football and to send a women's team to the SEA Games in five years.

The S-League will be reviewed, while competitions will be expanded at all levels to meet national objectives.

Speaking at a press conference at Ital Auto's showroom at Leng Kee Road (the official Ferrari dealer in Singapore), Lim said: "The football community has a very large say as to how the direction of football in the next four years should be.

"Football needs to change for the better. We need better results, better administration, better infrastructure and of course better personnel who can drive the game."

The 64-year-old lawyer also pledged to devote more resources and support to football at the lower levels and move away from what he previously termed "elitism football".

According to the FAS' latest 2015-16 financial report, its total revenue was $35.8 million and more than $16 million was spent on the S-League and another $8 million on the national teams' training cost.

The total organising expenses for domestic grassroots competitions was about $112,000, before $41,500 of income from registration fees was included.

Bernard Tan, chief marketing officer at ST Engineering and who will run as Lim's deputy president, added that granting greater access to football facilities was another priority. He said: "We also believe that the academies that are sprouting up all around the nation is a benefit to kids' football.

"If we don't expand the number of kids playing football, we will not have a footballing nation."

Lim's opponent at the April 29 polls will be Hougang United chairman Bill Ng, who is seeking the presidential post and has assembled a team called the Game Changers.

The 57-year-old private equity firm director has yet to officially unveil his full team or announce his manifesto.

Teams contesting in a slate will need a minimum of two-thirds (30) of the 44 votes to win. Independent candidates need a simple majority to win. The election will be held at the Singapore Sports Hub.

10 key points of Team LKT's manifesto:

1. Create a transparent FAS that has a high standard of adminstration.

2. Create more facilities to achieve the vision of a football-playing nation.

3. Enlarge and enhance the pool of coaches, referees, administrators and volunteers through consultative bodies and mentorship.

4. Harness sports science and technology to boost development, fitness and performance of players.

5. Collaborate with private and public academies to increase participation and make football fun for kids to learn. Work with more schools to include the sport as a CCA.

6. Increase the number of Centres of Excellence from three to a league of at least 15. The National Football Academy will also be reviewed.

7. Double the participation of girls playing football and to send a women's team to the SEA Games within five years.

8. Create a booking system for social teams to arrange matches with each other and look at setting up a social masters league.

9. Review the S-League while competitions will be expanded at all levels to meet national objectives.

10. Establish high performance targets for the various national teams over the next five to 10 years.

The Lions will be expected to regularly qualify for the third round of the World Cup qualifiers, the Asian Cup finals and to consistently win the AFF Championship.

The Under-23s and cerebral palsy teams are expected to win the SEA Games and Asean Para Games respectively. More support for the U-20s and to form a U-17s side capable of qualifying for the Fifa U-17 World Cup.

LIM KIA TONG'S ELECTORAL TEAM SLATE

1. LIM KIA TONG

Lawyer, FAS provisional council president and Fifa disciplinary committee deputy chairman

2. BERNARD TAN

Chief marketing officer at ST Engineering

3. TEO HOCK SENG

Komoco Motors' group managing director

4. EDWIN TONG

Lawyer and MP

5. S. THAVANESON

Balestier Khalsa chairman

6. RAZALI SAAD

Former national captain

7. DINESH NAIR

FAS medical committee chairman

8. FORREST LI

Founder of online gaming portal Garena and 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year

9. DARWIN JALIL

Team manager of National Football League Division 1 club Eunos Crescent

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS

1. LIM TONG HAI

Former Lions skipper

2. SHARDA PARVIN

Tanjong Pagar United women's player

3. MICHAEL FOO

People's Association director

4. RIZAL RASUDIN

Chairman of NFL Division 2 club Admiralty CSC

5. KELVIN TEO

CEO of Sembcorp Development

6. YAKOB HASHIM

Coach of NFL Division 1 club Yishun Sentek Mariners